Date of Award
EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy
Education Leadership, Management and Policy
Alexandra Freidus, Ph.D.
Edmund Adjapong, Ph.D.
Ryan Coughlan, Ph.D.
Culturally responsive leadership, culturally responsive pedagogy, culturally relevant teaching, educational justice, equity
A narrative study was used to examine the perspectives and experiences of Superintendents working towards educational justice by addressing the inequities found in schools. Data was collected through a series of semi-structured interviews representing a diverse participant pool of 23 superintendents and assistant superintendents who were currently employed in public school districts throughout the state of New Jersey. Using a primarily deductive coding scheme, the data was analyzed around the tenets of culturally responsive pedagogy and leadership.
Many participants described having impactful experiences as children that subsequently influenced their initial decision to become educators, as well as their leadership practices. Although the depth of their knowledge about culturally responsive practices varied, the approaches they described taking reflected a deeper understanding of culturally responsive leadership. The participants overwhelmingly agreed that the professional leadership standard for equity and cultural responsiveness was foundational to their work and what should be required of all superintendents, however their opinions in terms of its feasibility varied.
Their responses illustrate the need for leaders to receive adequate resources, training, and support to effectively implement complex standards such as this one. Consequently, it is imperative that culturally responsive practices are taught consistently across all state-approved teacher and leadership preparation programs. This study adds to literature on culturally responsive leadership by specifically considering the experiences, knowledge and approaches of superintendents working towards educational justice at district-level.
Keywords: Culturally responsive leadership, culturally responsive pedagogy, culturally relevant teaching, educational justice, equity
Mastrogiovanni, Danielle F., ""It's a Part of Who We Are" New Jersey Superintendents' Understandings of and Approaches to Culturally Responsive District-Level Leadership" (2022). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 2977.