Global Advanced Research Journal of Educational Research and Reviews (GARJERR) ISSN: 2315-5132

August 2014, 3(5): pp. 115-124

Copyright © 2014 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Enacting social justice in secondary schools: On track or off track in school leaders’ professional development

Mahboob Sooltan Sohawon and Nathalie Congo-Poottaren

Mauritius Institute of Education

Corresponding author Email:

Accepted 25 August, 2014


The various articles under the World Declaration on Education for All (1990) clearly express the concerns for participants to meeting basic learning needs of every person. This concern has also been used to inform the professional development of future school leaders. Various studies have found that leadership is the second element which impacts on student achievement (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson and Wahlstrom, 2004). Kouzes and Posner (1995) remind us that the role of the school leaders in shaping the direction that schools take is vital. They act as role models and signal to other stakeholders what is relevant and important at school (Fullan and Stiegelbauer, 1991). One issue which is seen today as very important is that of social justice. Yet, Hawley and James (2010) claim that in America, most school leaders do not have a precise notion of the meaning and implication of social justice and applying social justice at schools. Is the situation in Mauritius the same, or it is different? Hence the focus of this study is to explore how heads of schools view their professional development in terms of preparing them to enact social justice at school and explore recommendations which they could make to improve the preparation of future school leaders. A qualitative study was thus conducted in order to answer the research questions. Interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of six school leaders who have followed a course in educational leadership and management. This course has social justice as one of its underpinning philosophies. The findings hint at the fact that school leaders have a clear view on the meaning of social justice, but find it hard to discuss the strategies which could be used to enact social justice at school. They also reveal that there are gaps in their professional development which did not address the issue of enacting social justice in depth. Whilst they were exposed to the various contextual factors affecting students’ achievement, the link with social justice was not developed in depth. However, the participants mentioned how the other modules studied in the course such as management of self, innovation, conflict and change, helped them to overcome the challenges they face while enacting social justice. The authors argue that there is need to create more awareness on the theme of social justice and to review the preparation of aspiring school leaders so that the issue of social justice is deeply examined during their preparation. They will be better equipped to enact social justice at school, thus making it a reality.

Keywords: leadership, professional development, social justice



Related Articles

Original Research Articles
Budi Guntoro, Dyah Woro Hastuti, and Sudi Nurtini
The Relationship Between Leadership Type Work Motivation Training of Employee and Physical Work Environment Toward Employee Performance of Fastfood Company in Yogyakarta Indonesia
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Educ. Res. Rev. January 2016 Vol: 5(1): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (127 KB)
Okoye Chinasa Regina and Victor Okoye
Republicanism in Igboland A Critique Of Igbo Enwe Eze
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Educ. Res. Rev. December 2016 Vol: 5(10): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (275 KB)
Dugguh, Stephen Ior Amo
Service Learning and Social Entrepreneurship Emerging Perspectives in Community Engagement and Sustainable Development in Nigeria
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Educ. Res. Rev. September 2013 Vol: 2(9): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (126 KB)
Slamet, Armanu Toyib, Djumilah Hadiwidjojo, and Eka Afnan Troena
The Influence of Situational Leadership on Job Satisfaction and Job Performance A Study on Trans Jakarta Bus way as Transportation Service in DKI Jakarta
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Educ. Res. Rev. February 2013 Vol: 2(2): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (276 KB)
Mutekwe E and Zikhali J
Ambitious but constrained: An exploration of the plight of the Zimbabwean girl child towards gender sensitivity as a 21st century pedagogical imperative for education
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Educ. Res. Rev. November 2012 Vol: 1(2): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (250 KB)
Marie Correa, Brandon K. Dumas, Chanika Jones, Victor Mbarika and Isaac M. Ong'oa
Extracurricular Activities and Academic Achievement: A Literature Review
Glo. Adv. Res. J. Educ. Res. Rev. September 2015 Vol: 4(9): - [Abstract] [Full Text - PDF] (145 KB)

Current Issue

Viewing Options

View Full Article - PDF
Download Full Article - PDF

Search for Articles

Mahboob Sooltan Sohawon on Google Scholar
Mahboob Sooltan Sohawon on Pubmed
Nathalie Congo-Poottaren on Google Scholar
Nathalie Congo-Poottaren on Pubmed


Viewed 1902
Printed 441
Downloaded 839
Powered By iPortal Works