UCEA proposal 2013 – Social Justice Leadership Strand

NCSLThe call for papers for the UCEA Convention is now published.  The Convention is 7-10th November in Indianapolis. The call for proposals is here.

The deadline for submission is 10th May 2013 – in the form of a 2000 word proposal. Pam Angelle has very kindly agreed to co-ordinate this submission.  We will submit for a international community-building partnership session/symposium.

At our meeting at UCEA in 2012 when we planned a programme for the year we agreed that at the UCEA Convention we would try to take our work forward by connecting the case study data of our social justice leaders with the wider context in which they work.  This would be the local (micro) context of the school – and the policy (macro) context. The aim therefore would be for the presenters to connect the data from their principals with a wider contextual framework – and that if we adopted broadly the same framework this would allow for rich analysis of similarities and differences.

As indicated – Pam will pull the submission together – but she needs our help . . . regardless of whether you will be presenting at UCEA or not . . .

In summary – we need, quite quickly, to agree a framework that we can all adopt, for illuminating the micro and macro contextual issues in which our principals are working. Pam has suggested we might start with a ‘micro-context of the school’ framework I was involved in developing for a report we did for the National College for School Leadership in England.

The report is here – Effective_leadership_in_multi_ethnic_schools and the framework is represented visually on p37.  If you read the report, and also an article I wrote (‘When markets and morals collide’ – in the Dropbox ) you will get a sense of how the framework was used, and how local factors shaped the ability of leaders to ‘do’ social justice.

Pam and I are proposing that as a ‘micro-context’ for our framework we use the framework from p37 of the NCSL report (not because it is wonderful, but because it exists and we don’t have much time!).  However, we have no corresponding ‘macro-context’ – and we need one. Indeed, for a comparative study across this nations, this is obviously critical (not least because the micro-context can only be understood in relation to a macro-context).

Your help  . . .  please help us to develop a complete framework, by making some proposals about how a macro- framework might be constructed. What would be in such a framework? And how might the macro ‘connect’ to the micro?

Please help by using the comments facility to respond to this post and let’s see if we can have a collaborative on-line dialogue to develop our framework.  If someone could get us started, then we can simply ‘reply’ to keep the debate going.  And just to galvanise you into action  . . . neither Pam nor I will contribute to this! (My framework starts it off – and Pam will take a lead on pulling it together at the end –  but she can only pull together from what has been contributed. If there is nothing there  . . . there is no framework!).

On a serious point – to date all our collaborations have been meeting and presenting at conferences. This does tend to exclude those who have not been able to attend any of those conferences.  Developing our on-line collaboration is an important way we can work together outside of the conferences – so please do try to contribute, perhaps especially if you have not been able to be involved much previously.

Important final points – the deadline for submission is May 10th.  I am proposing that by 31st March we have done TWO things:

  1. Contribute to the development of the framework as per above
  2. Indicate to Pam and myself if you want to be part of the symposium session at UCEA.  This session will be open to anyone who can attend and who has collected data as per our schedule.  Please note – previous Cohort 1/ Cohort 2 groupings do not apply – if you are coming to UCEA, and you want to be part of this session – let us know by 31st March.

This allows Pam the month of April to work with those attending UCEA to draw together the proposal – which we can then share at our meeting at AERA (details here) before Pam finalises it for submission a week later.

Pam and Howard

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15 Responses to UCEA proposal 2013 – Social Justice Leadership Strand

  1. Charles slater says:

    Dear Howard and Pam:
    Thanks for your preparation of these proposal ideas. Count me in. Please clarify for me the meaning of number 2 above that previous cohort 1 and 2 groupings do not apply. Does that mean that we are no longer working in pairs and should each develop our separate country information?
    I look forward to reading Howard’s micro framework ideas. In the meantime I offer the following example of how we might write a macro framework from a draft of an article from 2005. It contains three parts: the history of education, the current situation, and the organization of education in the Mexico. It is probably too long, but it might give an idea of how we could proceed.
    Here it is.
    Charlie
    Education in Mexico
    Charles Slater and colleagues (2005)
    Colonial and Post-colonial Mexico
    Education in Mexico has a long history, stretching back to the time of the Spanish Conquest. Members of several religious orders arrived close on the heels of the Conquistadors with a mandate to Christianize and “civilize” the native peoples of New Spain. They pursued this goal through an extensive system of missions where the native peoples were instructed in basic Christian beliefs and the rudiments of Spanish culture. The Church also served the educational needs of the growing colonial elite, establishing primary and secondary schools to prepare the sons of the middle and upper classes to serve the colony as bureaucrats, military officers, and priests (Spicer, 1992; Herrera, 1996). The growing educational needs of the colony and the disadvantages of sending students to Spain for a university education prompted efforts to establish a university in the New World and in 1551 the University of Mexico was chartered. Now the National Autonomous University of Mexico is the oldest institution of higher learning in the Western Hemisphere.
    For over three centuries education in Mexico was firmly lodged in the hands of the Catholic Church (Quirk, 1973; Herrara, 1996). The first attack on the Church’s hold over education occurred in 1867 when President Benito Juarez published the Organic Law of Public Instruction in the Federal District. This law declared education in Mexico to be secular, free, and mandatory (Herrera, 1996). These principles remain firmly imbedded in Mexican educational policy and were reaffirmed in the Constitution of 1917 and again in 1992 when education in the country was officially decentralized (Herrera, 1996; Tatto, 1999; McLaughlin, 2002). Juarez and his successor, Porfirio Diaz, expanded the national educational system, but by the time revolution broke out in 1910, educational services were largely confined to urban areas. Rural areas lacked schools and teachers, and efforts to educate the indigenous population of the country were minimal. Moreover, the Catholic Church remained in control of an extensive system of primary and secondary schools (Quirk, 1973; Vaughn, 1982; Epstein, 1985; Herrera, 1996).
    It was not until the 1920’s that a genuine public education system for Mexico was created under the leadership of Jose Vasconcelos. The Constitution of 1917 had contained specific provisions for education: the Catholic Church was prohibited from operating primary schools; control of primary education was placed in the hands of the state and became compulsory; the existing Secretaria Instrucion Publica was abolished; and responsibility for education was transferred from the federal government to states and municipalities. The experiment in decentralization proved to be a disaster. State governments and municipalities were unable—or unwilling—to provide resources for schools (Ruiz, 1963; Vaughn, 1982). By 1920 it was apparent that change was needed and President Alvaro Obregon appointed the noted lawyer and philosopher Jose Vasconcelos Rector of the National University with authority to carry out comprehensive educational reforms (Vasconcelos, 1925/1963; Herrera, 1996; Marentes, 2000). Vasconcelos’ first act was to craft legislation that created a new national education agency with power extending beyond the borders of the Federal District. The act creating the Secretaria de Educacion Publica (SEP) passed Congress in February, 1921, and Vasconcelos was appointed Mexico’s first Minister of Education the following October. The next three years would be a time of amazing achievement.
    Octavio Paz (1961) described Vasconcelos as “a man that could catch fire and then transmit his enthusiasm to others” (p.152). Between 1921 and 1924, Vasconcelos worked with zeal to create a national educational system and to nurture Mexican national identity by combining the cultures of Mexico’s indigenous peoples with that of Spain (Vasconcelos, 1963; De Beer, 1966; Epstein, 1985; Marentes, 2000). Under his direction massive literacy campaigns were conducted, over 1,000 new schools were built, and teachers were dispatched to neglected rural areas. Educational programs for indigenous communities were launched, teacher training and supervision were improved, technical and vocational schools opened, libraries multiplied, and artists and musicians subsidized. When Vasconcelos left the SEP in 1924 his accomplishments had earned him the title Maestro de la Juvendad (Teacher of Youth) and the respect of all Latin America (Young, 1962; Vaughn, 1982; Marentes, 2000).
    Modern Mexico
    The structure and administration of education in Mexico began to change in the 1980s culminating with the announcement by President Salinas de Gortari of the Education Modernization Program in 1989. This program had several purposes: improve the quality of basic education; raise the level of schooling in the general population; encourage community participation in educational matters; and decentralize the educational system (Gerschberg, 1999; Tatto, 1999; Schmelkes, 2001). The most important aspect of the modernization program was the transfer of responsibilities for education away from the federal government to the states in the belief that local education officials were better able to serve the needs of a diverse population.
    It was not until 1992 that the transfer of responsibilities was actually formalized through the National Agreement for the Modernization of Basic Education. The President of the Republic, the Secretary of Education, the Governors of Mexico’s thirty-one states, and the national teachers union signed the Agreement in May following prolonged negotiations. The Agreement has three stated objectives: to reorganize the educational system through decentralization and social participation initiatives; to carry out curricular reform of primary and secondary education; and to revise and upgrade teacher training (Gershberg, 1999; Tatto, 1999). On paper the National Agreement represented a departure from Mexico’s tradition of centralized educational authority.
    The implementation of the National Agreement has not gone smoothly (Gershberg, 1999; Tatto, 1999). State governors have been reluctant to assume responsibility for educational programs for which they were not prepared or for which they cannot secure adequate resources. The national teachers union, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Educativos, (SNTE) has resisted decentralization for fear of losing political power. With over one million members, SNTE is the largest labor union in Latin America. Most problematical is that under the Agreement the federal government reserved a number of administrative functions to itself, most critically the determination of each state’s educational budget and the negotiation of teacher salaries, leaving the states with little financial control over educational services (Gershberg, 1999). States control less than 10% of their education budgets.
    Martin and Solorzano (2003) identified a number of issues that confront public education in Mexico. Education authorities, including the teacher’s union, are seen as rife with cronyism and unable, or unwilling, to react to the nation’s educational problems in creative ways. Consequently public education no longer commands the respect it once did as one of the symbols of the revolution and the source of national political leadership. Increasing numbers of middle and upper class parents are opting for private education, particularly at the primary and university levels. Lack of adequate funding continues to hinder the system’s ability to serve its users effectively and efficiently. Despite a powerful union, teachers are poorly paid, especially in rural areas. Large numbers of students drop out, especially rural and indigenous populations.
    The organization of education in Mexico
    Schools in Mexico provide educational services to students at several different levels. Elementary education consists of preschools (Pre-escolar), which are federally funded programs for children ages 4-5 and primary schools (Primarias) that contain grades 1-6 and have at least one teacher per grade. Schools in rural areas are often staffed with one teacher for all grades or are multi-grade schools (Multigrados) with several teachers each teaching more than one grade. College-bound students in grades 7-9 attend Secundarias while Tecnicas provide vocational training. Telesecundarias offer a televised curriculum to rural students too remote to have schools of their own. College-bound students in grades 10-12 attend Preparatorias or Bachilleratos. Tecnologicas and Comercios provide programs for students pursuing a vocational career (Johnson & Rodriguez, 2000; McLaughlin, 2002). Mexico also has a well-established system of institutions providing undergraduate and graduate education through a mix of public and private colleges, universities, and technological schools. Teacher training is provided at the Escuela Nacional de Maestros (The National School of Teachers) in Mexico City or in a number of Education in Mexico
    Charles Slater and colleagues (2005)
    Colonial and Post-colonial Mexico
    Education in Mexico has a long history, stretching back to the time of the Spanish Conquest. Members of several religious orders arrived close on the heels of the Conquistadors with a mandate to Christianize and “civilize” the native peoples of New Spain. They pursued this goal through an extensive system of missions where the native peoples were instructed in basic Christian beliefs and the rudiments of Spanish culture. The Church also served the educational needs of the growing colonial elite, establishing primary and secondary schools to prepare the sons of the middle and upper classes to serve the colony as bureaucrats, military officers, and priests (Spicer, 1992; Herrera, 1996). The growing educational needs of the colony and the disadvantages of sending students to Spain for a university education prompted efforts to establish a university in the New World and in 1551 the University of Mexico was chartered. Now the National Autonomous University of Mexico is the oldest institution of higher learning in the Western Hemisphere.
    For over three centuries education in Mexico was firmly lodged in the hands of the Catholic Church (Quirk, 1973; Herrara, 1996). The first attack on the Church’s hold over education occurred in 1867 when President Benito Juarez published the Organic Law of Public Instruction in the Federal District. This law declared education in Mexico to be secular, free, and mandatory (Herrera, 1996). These principles remain firmly imbedded in Mexican educational policy and were reaffirmed in the Constitution of 1917 and again in 1992 when education in the country was officially decentralized (Herrera, 1996; Tatto, 1999; McLaughlin, 2002). Juarez and his successor, Porfirio Diaz, expanded the national educational system, but by the time revolution broke out in 1910, educational services were largely confined to urban areas. Rural areas lacked schools and teachers, and efforts to educate the indigenous population of the country were minimal. Moreover, the Catholic Church remained in control of an extensive system of primary and secondary schools (Quirk, 1973; Vaughn, 1982; Epstein, 1985; Herrera, 1996).
    It was not until the 1920’s that a genuine public education system for Mexico was created under the leadership of Jose Vasconcelos. The Constitution of 1917 had contained specific provisions for education: the Catholic Church was prohibited from operating primary schools; control of primary education was placed in the hands of the state and became compulsory; the existing Secretaria Instrucion Publica was abolished; and responsibility for education was transferred from the federal government to states and municipalities. The experiment in decentralization proved to be a disaster. State governments and municipalities were unable—or unwilling—to provide resources for schools (Ruiz, 1963; Vaughn, 1982). By 1920 it was apparent that change was needed and President Alvaro Obregon appointed the noted lawyer and philosopher Jose Vasconcelos Rector of the National University with authority to carry out comprehensive educational reforms (Vasconcelos, 1925/1963; Herrera, 1996; Marentes, 2000). Vasconcelos’ first act was to craft legislation that created a new national education agency with power extending beyond the borders of the Federal District. The act creating the Secretaria de Educacion Publica (SEP) passed Congress in February, 1921, and Vasconcelos was appointed Mexico’s first Minister of Education the following October. The next three years would be a time of amazing achievement.
    Octavio Paz (1961) described Vasconcelos as “a man that could catch fire and then transmit his enthusiasm to others” (p.152). Between 1921 and 1924, Vasconcelos worked with zeal to create a national educational system and to nurture Mexican national identity by combining the cultures of Mexico’s indigenous peoples with that of Spain (Vasconcelos, 1963; De Beer, 1966; Epstein, 1985; Marentes, 2000). Under his direction massive literacy campaigns were conducted, over 1,000 new schools were built, and teachers were dispatched to neglected rural areas. Educational programs for indigenous communities were launched, teacher training and supervision were improved, technical and vocational schools opened, libraries multiplied, and artists and musicians subsidized. When Vasconcelos left the SEP in 1924 his accomplishments had earned him the title Maestro de la Juvendad (Teacher of Youth) and the respect of all Latin America (Young, 1962; Vaughn, 1982; Marentes, 2000).
    Modern Mexico
    The structure and administration of education in Mexico began to change in the 1980s culminating with the announcement by President Salinas de Gortari of the Education Modernization Program in 1989. This program had several purposes: improve the quality of basic education; raise the level of schooling in the general population; encourage community participation in educational matters; and decentralize the educational system (Gerschberg, 1999; Tatto, 1999; Schmelkes, 2001). The most important aspect of the modernization program was the transfer of responsibilities for education away from the federal government to the states in the belief that local education officials were better able to serve the needs of a diverse population.
    It was not until 1992 that the transfer of responsibilities was actually formalized through the National Agreement for the Modernization of Basic Education. The President of the Republic, the Secretary of Education, the Governors of Mexico’s thirty-one states, and the national teachers union signed the Agreement in May following prolonged negotiations. The Agreement has three stated objectives: to reorganize the educational system through decentralization and social participation initiatives; to carry out curricular reform of primary and secondary education; and to revise and upgrade teacher training (Gershberg, 1999; Tatto, 1999). On paper the National Agreement represented a departure from Mexico’s tradition of centralized educational authority.
    The implementation of the National Agreement has not gone smoothly (Gershberg, 1999; Tatto, 1999). State governors have been reluctant to assume responsibility for educational programs for which they were not prepared or for which they cannot secure adequate resources. The national teachers union, the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Educativos, (SNTE) has resisted decentralization for fear of losing political power. With over one million members, SNTE is the largest labor union in Latin America. Most problematical is that under the Agreement the federal government reserved a number of administrative functions to itself, most critically the determination of each state’s educational budget and the negotiation of teacher salaries, leaving the states with little financial control over educational services (Gershberg, 1999). States control less than 10% of their education budgets.
    Martin and Solorzano (2003) identified a number of issues that confront public education in Mexico. Education authorities, including the teacher’s union, are seen as rife with cronyism and unable, or unwilling, to react to the nation’s educational problems in creative ways. Consequently public education no longer commands the respect it once did as one of the symbols of the revolution and the source of national political leadership. Increasing numbers of middle and upper class parents are opting for private education, particularly at the primary and university levels. Lack of adequate funding continues to hinder the system’s ability to serve its users effectively and efficiently. Despite a powerful union, teachers are poorly paid, especially in rural areas. Large numbers of students drop out, especially rural and indigenous populations.
    The organization of education in Mexico
    Schools in Mexico provide educational services to students at several different levels. Elementary education consists of preschools (Pre-escolar), which are federally funded programs for children ages 4-5 and primary schools (Primarias) that contain grades 1-6 and have at least one teacher per grade. Schools in rural areas are often staffed with one teacher for all grades or are multi-grade schools (Multigrados) with several teachers each teaching more than one grade. College-bound students in grades 7-9 attend Secundarias while Tecnicas provide vocational training. Telesecundarias offer a televised curriculum to rural students too remote to have schools of their own. College-bound students in grades 10-12 attend Preparatorias or Bachilleratos. Tecnologicas and Comercios provide programs for students pursuing a vocational career (Johnson & Rodriguez, 2000; McLaughlin, 2002). Mexico also has a well-established system of institutions providing undergraduate and graduate education through a mix of public and private colleges, universities, and technological schools. Teacher training is provided at the Escuela Nacional de Maestros (The National School of Teachers) in Mexico City or in a number of state normal schools (Herrera, 1996).
    Compulsory education in Mexico extends through the secundaria (grade 9). Students in rural areas that have only a primaria travel to nearby towns to attend school beyond the sixth grade. As a consequence, many students in poor rural areas leave school after grade six. Textbooks for grades 1-6 have been provided free of charge since 1964. Students in grades 7-12 must purchase their own texts, which constitutes a barrier to further education for families with limited incomes. Mexican students study a common curriculum and must pass a national examination at the end of each year. Students who fail the national examination are retained the following year. (McLaughlin, 2002).

    • Dear Charlie – cohort 1 and 2 groupings relate to the groups who have presented at UCEA 12 and BELMAS 13 – the latter in a ‘paired’ session. I am keen that at UCEA 13 there is a chance that others from the wider group to be involved, and to be honest, we start to break down the cohort 1 and 2 distinction (which was always purely pragmatic). I think we need to find out who wants to be part of the UCEA submission – and then decide if we still work in pairs . . . hope that clarifies – it may not! Thanks for your contribution – great . . .!

  2. Ian Potter says:

    Having looked at the model for micro and in response to starting the thinking about a model for macro, can I suggest the following?
    Instead of a separate model for how the macro impacts on the school (which is what is at the centre of the micro model), can we not expand the existing model? This would then provide a conceptual framework for how the macro affects the micro which in turn is impacting on the school. I think there are generalisable macro-elements that can sit to the right and left of the existing boxes in the model which list the ‘micro-elements’. An alternative descriptor for those elements could be ‘contextual levers’ and an example of such at a macro level would be: Political System. Hence, I am suggesting that “around” the existing model we identify factors at a macro level that we would need to include in our comparative analyses of the context in which SJL principals are working in their schools.

    • Anna Sun says:

      Ian, I agree with you. Adding a contextual framework, namely Political System, at a macro level, shall be needed for the comparative analyses.

    • This gets us off to a great start Ian . . . I look forward to hearing others’ thoughts and contributions. What elements of the ‘political system’ need to be included? (where does power lie in the system – central state, local government, individual institution/school? – for example). Also how do macro and micro contexts ‘connect’ – how do we integrate the macro framework so that it represents an ‘expansion’ as Ian suggests, rather than something separate?

  3. Katarina says:

    Yes, I agree with Ian, that could be useful

  4. Helene Ärlestig says:

    I think that we are on the right track. At the same time I think we need to become a bit more specific in what we mean, especially if we are aiming for giving the proposal a more comparative approach. If we are interested in how principals learn to become SJ- leaders we might aim for studying what is necessary for principals to know about the micro and macro. What is possible to learn theoretical and what do they learn through experience? My point is what kind of knowledge are we trying to create? I will probably be at UCEA if you do not get enough of new people to contribute

  5. Heather Duncan says:

    I have made a quick beginning stab at a macro model but don’t know if I can paste here. If not will email to the group. As I thought, graphics won’t post. I will email…feel free to dissect or add
    Heather

    • Charles slater says:

      Thanks Heather. I like the outline that you sent by email. It is straight-forward and we can develop the information for each of our countries.

  6. Jill Sperandio says:

    I’m currently in Ghana collecting interviews with several school heads here – they are certainly “doing” social justice, but fitting this into the bigger picture of the national education system isn’t so straightforward – however, the model is an interesting starting point. Hope to be at UCEA.

  7. Bernie Grummell says:

    Like Jill, I’m trying to imagine how the experiences of Irish school principals ‘doing’ social justice in education would fit into these micro- and macro- levels. Broadly speaking, I think these two models work well to explain what is occurring in the Irish case. I don’t have the visual tools to create this image, but it might be useful to imagine these micro- and macro-levels as overlapping circles? In the Irish case, I think an additional feature is vital – that of the religious influence through the social and political climate, as well as governance structures and legal mandates of many Irish schools. As a consequence, the economic aspects play out very differently and don’t have the same impact as internationally. I assume others are similar in adapting the model to emphasize some features and de-emphasize others?
    Another aspect which principals emphasize as part of their sense of social justice is the affective and relational aspects of care and ethos. This could be included as part of the social climate (macro- level) and community cohesion (micro-level). However, I think it also has wider application and could be included as a category in its own right?
    I won’t be at UCEA but should be at BELMAS in July.
    regards, Bernie

  8. Dear all – great to have all these contributions. Lots of important issues being raised . . . please keep them coming, and then we can take stock and try and synthesise! Great work . . .

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