Social Justice Development

What is Social Justice?

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 (Jean-Marie, Normore, and Brooks, 2009).

Other important resources on Social Justice:


Brooks, J. S. (2008b). Freedom and justice: Conceptual and empirical possibilities for the study and practice of educational leadership. In I. Bogotch, F. Beachum, J. Blount, J. S. Brooks, & F. W. English, Radicalizing educational leadership: Toward a theory of social justice (pp. 61-78). Netherlands: Sense.

Evans, A. E. (2007). Horton, Highlander, and leadership education: Lessons for preparing educational leaders for social justice, Journal of School Leadership, 17, 250-275.

Furman, G. C. (2003). The 2002 UCEA presidential address: Toward a new scholarship of educational leadership? UCEA Review, 45(1), 1-6.

Furman, G. C. & Gruenewald, D. A. (2004). Expanding the landscape of social justice: A critical ecological analysis. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 47-76.

Jean-Marie, G., Normore, A. H., & Brooks, J. S. (2009). Leadership for social justice: Preparing 21st century school leaders for a new social order. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 4(1), 1-31. Retrieved from