Toward a framework for preparing leaders for social justice

Colleen A. Capper, George Theoharis, James Sebastian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this article is to propose one possible framework for conceptualizing the preparation of leaders for social justice. To this end, three central questions guided this conceptualization: "What are the common themes in the literature and research on preparing leaders for social justice?"; "How can this framework serve as a guide for developing a course, set of courses, or an entire program toward preparing leaders to lead socially just schools?"; and "How can this literature and conceptualization inform future scholarship in administrator preparation?". Design/methodology/approach - This work included a review of 72 pieces of literature. To address the research questions, the growing body of leadership for social justice literature was reviewed. Each of these articles was analyzed and explicit recommendations for preparing school leaders noted. These recommendations were then catagorized into the proposed framework. Findings - Three domains: critical consciousness; knowledge; and practical skills focused on social justice are positioned on the horizontal dimension of the framework. To achieve these ends, requires curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment oriented toward social justice - the vertical dimension of the framework. Originality/value - It is suggested using this framework to guide the review and development of administration preparation programs whose aim is to prepare socially just leaders. Additionally, this article calls for increased attention to assessing preparation programs and how they prepare leaders for social justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-224
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


  • Curricula
  • Leadership
  • School leavers
  • Social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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