Activating and Sustaining Motivation for Social Justice Leadership in Secondary Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This case brings together two important theories – social justice leadership and developmental readiness – within the context of a high school facing persistent racial inequities, which most faculty are unwilling to name or address. Social justice leadership, drawn from K –12 leadership practice, offers a theory of leadership in the face of persistent inequities; the theory combines theoretical and practice-oriented components with attention to praxis – interconnections of reflection and action. Developmental readiness (DR) is a multilevel construct that focuses on the motivation and ability of the total leadership system to change. In this case, Principal Wells has identified alarming patterns of racial disproportionality in her school’s discipline data. When she shares these data with the predominately white teaching force, she faces deep resistance. An examination of developmental readiness of the principal and teachers encourages reflection on the motivation needed to sustain socially just leadership. Readers will analyze data to identify disproportionate outcomes related to race and practice the difficult conversations needed to address racial inequities in their organizations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCase Studies in Leadership and Adult Development
Subtitle of host publicationApplying Theoretical Perspectives to Real World Challenges
EditorsKristina N LaVenia, Judith Jackson May
ISBN (Electronic)9780429331503
ISBN (Print)9780367354589, 9780367354596
StatePublished - Dec 20 2021


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