Spirituality? It's the core of my leadership: Empowering leadership in an inclusive elementary school

Maureen W. Keyes, Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell, Colleen A. Capper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Administrative leadership is considered critical to successful implementation of inclusive schooling practices whereby students with disabilities are educated with other students. This ethnographic study of one principal was conducted over a 15-month period in a midsize midwestern city. The results: (a) a supportive environment for critique encourages teacher autonomy and risk taking while communicating trust that teachers can succeed; (b) a supportive environment is open to critique about how to reach inclusion but not about the goal itself; (c) in a facilitative community, the principal and teachers ask questions and consider alternative frameworks for inclusion; (d) creating a just, democratic environment coalesces the staff, and the principal models inclusive practices; and (e) principal behaviors are undergirded by a spirituality grounded in six beliefs: valuing personal struggle, recognizing the dignity of all people, blending the personal and professional, believing people are doing their best, listening, and dreaming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-237
Number of pages35
JournalEducational Administration Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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