Leadership for social justice: Class update 1

Class updateThought I’d post a quick update on how my new summer Master’s seminar, Leadership for Social Justice, is going. I’ve got six students in the class. We meet virtually every Monday for a couple of hours, in addition to our other activities.

The students co-constructed their learning experiences with me. We are trying to approach the class through a very broad social justice lens, which means that we’re discussing a variety of different school leadership equity contexts. We spent our first class getting ourselves organized, which included brainstorming some things that we wanted to do together this summer and identifying the learning outcomes that we wanted to achieve. We committed ourselves to focusing on actionable leadership practices, not just ideas and theory. Our course textbook, Equity Visits: A New Approach to Supporting Equity-Focused School and District Leadership, aligns closely with that commitment.

We focused on anti-racist educational leadership practices in our second class. Two students helped curate our readings and multimedia pre-assignments for the week and provided lots of choices for us. The reading that probably sparked the most discussion was Paul Gorski’s article in Educational Leadership on Avoiding Racial Equity Detours. We spent the second half of class deconstructing a couple of race-based educational cases from Gorski’s book, Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education.

My students are completing one-page reflections each week of what is in their heads at the moment. Additionally, each is identifying an inquiry project on an equity-focused topic of their choice. I will share those in a future class update. We are off to a good start!

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