Synthesizing the social justice discourse in educational leadership, Furman and Gruenewald (2004) offer three shared meanings of social justice embedded in various ways throughout contemporary literature:
- critical-humanist perspective,
- focus on school achievement and economic well-being;
- and the narratives and values of the Western Enlightenment (see also Brooks, 2008b).
The increased attention given to social justice brings to fore a focus on the moral purposes of leadership in schools and how to achieve these purposes (Furman, 2003). As Evans (2007) observed, the scholarship of social justice supports the notion that educational leaders have a social and moral obligation to foster equitable school practices, processes, and outcomes for learners of different racial, socioeconomic, gender, cultural, disability, and sexual orientations backgrounds (p. 250).