Dialogic Leadership for Social Justice

In this article, I draw on current scholarship about leadership for social justice, to develop a framework intended to help educational leaders think about leading for social justice. I critically examine some ways in which the status quo marginalizes large numbers of students and their families, preventing them from being heard or even acknowledged. I suggest that transformative educational leaders may foster the academic success of all children through engaging in moral dialogue that facilitates the development of strong relationships, supplants pathologizing silences, challenges existing beliefs and practices, and grounds educational leadership in some criteria for social justice. Bakhtin suggests that entering into a relationship and participating in dialogue with another person is the means by which one may overcome “closedness” and achieve understanding. For Bakhtin, depth of understanding only occurs when we encounter difference and deal with it in ways that address its meanings:

“A meaning only reveals its depths once it has encountered and come into contact
with another, foreign meaning: they engage in a kind of dialogue, which
surmounts the closedness and one-sidedness of these particular meanings,
these cultures.”


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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