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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transformative educational leadership: A ritual critique of principal practice
by Mrozik, Donald R., Jr., Ed.D., Lewis University, 2015, 178; 10003577
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores the need for critical transformative leaders who critique oppression within schools and have a desire for social justice. This study attempts to learn more about the principal practices that maintain or disrupt the status quo and what ritual patterns emerge in relation to the work of principals. Two public elementary school principals were observed over the course of a three-day period to better understand the challenges that critical transformative leaders face in the field of education. Four lessons emerged regarding the ritual patterns of principals studied: (a) an emphasis on solidarity, which creates ends that support status quo practices and restricts the development of dialogue centered on social justice issues, (b) the need to expose the hidden curriculum through praxis and work toward liberation, (c) a limited resistance in leadership practice, and (d) that a theoretical understanding of social justice leadership is not enough for transformation to occur in schools. The lessons learned in this study suggest that the neoliberal influences placed upon public schools and public school principals are a major obstacle preventing principals from doing critical transformative work. Furthermore, the academic coursework that principals are involved in is not a sufficient condition for doing critical transformative work. These themes suggest that there is a great need to find ways to open dialogue amongst principals, school staff, parents, and those who make policy decisions so that these groups can begin examining oppressive conditions in schools. Reflection and action against unjust policies are essential to aspects of praxis for which dialogue can be used as a vehicle for change.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hoffman, Lauren
Commitee: Kline, Kip, Petrek, Jane
School: Lewis University
Department: Department of Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Educational leadership, Principals, Ritual critique, Transformative leadership
Publication Number: 10003577
ISBN: 978-1-339-42693-8
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