Community Engaged Leadership for Social Justice: A Critical Approach in Urban Schools, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Community Engaged Leadership for Social Justice

A Critical Approach in Urban Schools, 1st Edition

By David E. DeMatthews


194 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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This book advocates for informed leaders who are aware of the larger historical, political-economic, sociological, and philosophical issues that surround the schools and communities they serve. Extending beyond mainstream conceptions of instructional leadership and broad social justice paradigms, Community Engaged Leadership for Social Justice offers a multidisciplinary framework that helps leaders better serve the needs of their students, teachers, and communities. Exploring issues of urban school reform as it relates to the principal, as well as priorities that are relevant to the process of school improvement and the promotion of social justice, this book provides a critical, equity-oriented set of best practices grounded in research and empirical cases. This is a must-have resource for building consciousness, offering hope, and engaging in dialogical and collaborative leadership practices to radically transform schools and communities.


"The press to locate modifiable out-of-school factors that influence the education of underserved students continues to grow. This book provides an insightful, intellectual guide that describes the scholarship of major thought leaders and researchers working in this problem space."

—William F. Tate, Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor, Arts & Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, USA

"DeMatthews’ masterful critique of the principalship in historical perspective weaves between the macro and micro to give much-needed attention to the way that the profession, in Freire’s words, is less about liberation than it is about domesticating subjectivities. Community Engaged Leadership for Social Justice cogently maintains that we cannot have principals that either lack awareness or fail to be critically reflective of the inequalities faced by the children and communities that they serve. Kudos to a job well done!"

—Angela Valenzuela, Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Texas at Austin, USA

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Introduction

Part I: Exploring Urban Communities, Schools, and Reform

Chapter 2: Neighborhoods of (In)Opportunity

Chapter 3: Racial Segregation and Urban Schools

Chapter 4: A History of Urban School Reform

Chapter 5: Schools as Social Institutions

Part II: Toward a Critical and Community Engaged Leadership

Chapter 6: The Science of Educational Administration

Chapter 7: Alternative Ways of Knowing and Leading

Chapter 8: Leading for Social Justice

Chapter 9: Critical Cases of Leadership in Low-Opportunity Communities

Conclusion: New Knowledge Requires New Commitments

About the Author

David E. DeMatthews is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

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