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Title:Leading for equity: Understanding technical, normative, and political barriers and strategies for change
Author(s):O'Malley, Lauren J.
Director of Research:Roegman, Rachel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Roegman, Rachel
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Alexander, Kern; Herrmann, Mary; Pak, Yoon
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ed.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Educational Leadership
Equity-Minded Leadership
Equity-Minded Change
Abstract:Inequitable practices and systemic and institutional barriers exist within and among schools, making the role of the school leader integral in challenging the status quo. The purpose of this study was to explore the technical, normative, and political barriers that school leaders face that stall or impede efforts at equity-minded change and how they work to create conditions for equity in their schools. Guided by the Equity-Minded Change Framework by Oakes et al. (2005), this study addressed the following research questions: 1. What technical, normative, and political obstacles do principals identify when implementing equity-minded school change? 2. What practices and strategies do principals report implementing related to equity-minded change? This study was grounded in a qualitative research design, and data was collected through semi-structured interviews with elementary, middle, and high school principals. Findings from this research study revealed the ways in which leaders attempt to enact equity-minded change and the barriers that they face when doing so. Overcoming barriers to equity-minded change requires principals to implement technical strategies while also attending closely to normative and political forces. Overreliance on technical strategies to address normative and political barriers, however, cannot lead to sustained equity-minded change. Such findings support educational practitioners who seek to increase and maintain high levels of student learning for all students and oppose forces that challenge the democratization of school.
Issue Date:2021-11-29
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/113972
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Lauren O'Malley
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-04-29
Date Deposited:2021-12


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