Social Justice Leadership Strand – pre-UCEA update

There is so much going on I am going to try and bring you all up to date on all the various issues.

UCEA Conference

We meet at UCEA shortly. We have 5 inputs to the programme.  Bruce and I have agreed that our planning meeting will be focused on our ‘research’ rather than ‘business’.  We have 4 hours and the first 3.5 will be within strands. All ‘business’ will be restricted to the final 30 minutes (this offsets the situation at BELMAS when the ‘research’/’business’ balance was the other way round).

My provisional agenda for our session is . . .

1)   Review of recent activity
2)   Macro/micro- Framework – how has this worked? How do we want to develop it?
3)   Data collection – next steps
4)   ‘Social Justice statements’ – what next? (how do we use these statements? how do we develop the ‘theory’ element of the project?)
5)   AoB (please suggest . . . )

Kris Hipp is organising a conference dinner – you’ve had the email, please respond to Kris.

ISLDN Network Meeting in Georgia, USA – Feb 2014

Pam, Ian and Jami are currently organising a network conference event in February for members to progress the initiative.  You have been provided with details. This is an event with lots of possibilities – please get back to Jami Berry via email and let her know if you can attend.

A final decision about whether this proceed will be taken at UCEA – which is why it is really important that the organisers have firm numbers about those interested.  If the numbers warrant it, this will proceed – and will be a significant milestone for the project – please let Jami now if you are hoping to attend. A good deal of work has gone into the planning of this, and we now need to see how we build on it – a big thanks to Jami, Ian and Pam.

The project – a collective effort

The project – I have rewritten the ‘how to get involved’ section of our website.  This now sets out our project in a simple set of ‘Activities’ (3 so far).  The 3 activities are:

1)   principal interview
2)   micro and macro contexts of social justice leadership – paper
3)   social justice statement

In each case we are asking group members to share the outcomes of their thinking in the Dropbox

Please can I remind you that participation in the project requires all members to commit to following the same, agreed, processes.  Some people have committed a great deal of work to this – but the minimum requirement (as set out in the activities) is not onerous.  Please can I ask that we all endeavour to perform all the basic activities specified – and to place the outcomes in the dropbox.  It is well understood that we cannot always get to conferences, and we WANT to include everyone – especially those who can’t attend conferences.  The basic way we can do this, all be involved, and all make a contribution, is to make sure we follow the basic activities as specified, and contribute the papers required. This is the way that all our individual efforts contribute to the collective goal.

Please note, and this is a personal view, but the conference presentations and the publications are what we take out of the project.  These are personal opportunities for us as individuals.  This is fine – the project was established to provide opportunities to UCEA and BELMAS members.  However, the 3 activities, writing them up, and sharing them, are what we put in to the project. As a group, we move slowly – but we move forward because of the effort, intellectual and otherwise, of project members.  I am delighted if members gain a lot from being involved in this project – but please be prepared to contribute – and this is through everybody contributing to the 3 activities (and submitting their work to the shared area in the dropbox).


home_coverAs well as conferences we have publications to consider – the special issue of MiE is in progress, and we have an invited book chapter on social justice and micro-politics. Has anybody any thoughts on whether we should develop a ‘publishing strategy’?  At the moment it is opportunistic – but as the work develops, we need to be more strategic . . . special issues? A book? Thoughts . . .? Discuss at UCEA?


Izhar has coordinated a submission to CASEA, and Simon Clarke offered a proposal to ICSEI.  The call for papers to BELMAS 2014 has been brought forward and is now open.  We can discuss at UCEA – but what do we want to do at BELMAS 2014, and who wants to lead on submitting the proposal? (please note – we have been guaranteed a slot at Belmas in the past – this will not be the case in 2014, where the standard reviewing process will apply).

Before BELMAS we have AERA – we agreed not to put a proposal for AERA, but will have a business meeting. What should our agenda be?

ECER – we presented a symposium at ECER in Istanbul. 70 people attended! Kadir, Khalid, Alison and Izhar presented, Katarina was discussant. As a result I have been asked to participate in an EU research bid by colleagues from Milan (I don’t know why, I didn’t present in the symposium!). This highlights the importance of this conference – what are our plans for 2014 (Porto)? The call will come soon . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKadir organised a great meal at ECER  – and we had a very pleasant evening in a restaurant by the Bosphorous.   Many people attended and we made some new friendships.

Istanbul was an interesting experience – my account of it here.

New Partners  . . .

Since we last met at BELMAS our group has been added to by representatives from Portugal, South Africa and Scotland.  At the moment I act as gatekeeper to the group.  My criteria are simple . . . if you represent a country not already represented then come on board.  If you represent a country already represented, then please demonstrate how you will add value to our work . . . In the former cases I handle it myself – and in the latter cases, I’ll discuss with the group. Let me know of this isn’t ok.

Other stuff . . .

This week I met colleagues from the General Teaching Council of Scotland, following our symposium at BELMAS 2013 in Edinburgh.  In Scotland a commitment to social justice is very explicit in the professional standards for school leaders.  We discussed how our project might dovetail with theirs, for our mutual advantage.  I will report on this at UCEA, but suffice to say there is the possibility of a new strand in our work developing, driven by school leaders rather than academics, and which uses our research based framework to explore how social justice leaders can advocate more effectively for social justice. This is just a brief description – I’ll explain more at UCEA.  But this alliance represents an opportunity to connect our work much more explicitly with both practitioners and policy makers. From this we need to think how we might work together, and how we might connect our projects – informally and possibly formally.

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