Democratizing Leadership: Sustaining Diversity in Education through Diversity-Oriented Leadership

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Changing demographics and subsequent diversity among the clientele of school systems now mandate new ways of “doing” education. This includes a shift away from orthodox conceptions of educational leadership that seek to reinforce the status-quo in favour of more empowering approaches. This paper explores an emerging approach to educational leadership– Diversity-Oriented Leadership (DOL). Diversity-oriented educational leaders typically adopt educational practices that are premised on the idea of building a just society. As a consequence, they ask uncomfortable questions about taken-for-granted assumptions about administrative practices, power and knowledge with the ultimate goal of increasing the life chances of those they serve. Couched in the belief that critical action for changing unjust educational practices must begin with understanding and changing the “self” as a situated being, diversity-oriented leaders of necessity, engage in critical self-analysis that not only illuminate their core beliefs about cultural, racial and linguistic differences among students but, also examine their everyday practices in learning organizations. DOL has several critical dimensions that are also explored in the paper.


Keywords: Diversity, Leadership, Multiculturalism, Social Justice, Educational Administration
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Democratizing Leadership


Dr. Benedicta Egbo

Faculty of Education, University of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Benedicta Egbo is Associate Professor of Education at the University of Windsor. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and include diversity issues, leadership, social justice and literacy. She is the author of the book, Teaching for Diversity in Canadian Schools (Pearson Education, 2008).

Ref: D08P0252