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Just leadership in Multicultural School


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Title: Just leadership in Multicultural School

Just leadership in Multicultural School Head
Teachers Ethical Device
  • Conference on Diversity and Global Education
  • Thematic Group Intercultural education, social ju
    stice and equity 25.4.2008
  • Katri Kuukka
  • Educational Consultant, Doctoral Student

Aim and Background of the Study
  • Working title Head teachers ethical thinking
    and leadership in multicultural school
  • social justice seen here as one aspect of virtue,
    virtues seen as part of normative ethics gt
    schools seen as normative communities
  • multicultural school seen here as a school with a
    considerable amount of pupils of immigrant
  • Why?
  • own professional experience during 13 years in
    Helsinki City Education Dpt also a general
    phenomenon in globalizing, pluralistic western
  • schools have become more diverse
  • demands and needs of different interest groups
    have become more diversified
  • nature of school administration has altered
  • teachers and head teachers need advice and
    device for ethical discussion and practice in
    school context
  • Why head teachers?
  • key figures of the school responsible power
    holders, treasurers, pedagogical leadersand
    essential moral agents?
  • Values, morals and ethics are the very stuff of
    leadership and administrative life. (Hodgkinson
  • educational leadership has a moral purpose
    (Fullan and Hargreaves 1991 Greenfield 2004)

Head teachers ethical framework
  • In a multicultural education situation the
    educator can or cannot believe in god.
  • S/He can trust on the reality of the values or
    consider them as social constructions.
  • This doesnt effect the basic task of value
    education. - - From now on we are
  • doomed to multiculturalism, which is not the
    end of the value education but a
  • new possibility. (Huttunen, Tynjälä Heikkinen
    2003) (italics mine)
  • Head teachers are also doomed to
  • follow the rules
  • The Constitution of Finland
  • Basic Education Act, Basic Education Decree
  • Government Decree on the General National
    Objectives and Distribution of Lesson Hours in
    Basic Education
  • National Core Curriculum (included acceptance of
    multiculturalism as one basic value)
  • other acts, decrees, procedures, guidelines
  • implement school curriculum
  • action plan, annual report
  • manage and lead
  • rules of procedure

Value Basis defined in municipality-specific
  • In the schools of of Helsinki city
  • everyone has the right to culture and good
    education, to grow as a learner, and as a human
  • we act in a democratic way so that everyone has
    the possibility to grow up as a responsible
    member of the community and to influence the
    common matters
  • we promote equality, respect everyones human
    dignity and take care of friendly atmosphere,
    safety and well-being together
  • we value Finnish culture and everyones own
    cultural background and promote the interaction
    between the cultures
  • we dont allow any kind of violence,
    discrimination or racism
  • we undertake to promote sustainable development
    and learn to take responsibility of the
    environment and the future.

Head Teachers Ethics
  • professional
  • legislative framework
  • ethical codes gt as civil servant, as qualified
    teacher, as head teacher
  • personal
  • values, beliefs, assumptions, attitudes
  • history, experiences as an individual
  • mindset/worldview
  • teleolocigal whats good gt the purpose of the
  • deontological whats right gt the normative
    culture of the school
  • consequental whats next gt the most useful
    solutions for the school (Launonen 2006)
  • intertwined, situational, reflexive/non-reflexive

Existing Device
  • Guideline documents
  • Multicultural education plan
  • Aspects of the tuition of Muslim pupils
  • Aspects of the assessment of second language
  • Interpretation services
  • Pedagogical advisors for
  • preparatory tuition
  • FLS-tuition
  • mother tongue and Islamic religion tuition
  • pupil welfare
  • Financial support for teaching materials added to
    school budgets
  • In-service training for teachers, head teachers
    and other school staff
  • On-line information on the web-site

Leadership in school as it should be
  • Ethical (Sergiovanni, Starratt, Greenfield)
  • Transformational (Leithwood Jantzi)
  • Authentic (Begley)
  • Distributed (Spillane)
  • Democratic (Woods)
  • Responsible (Maak Pless, Starratt)
  • Sustainable (Hargreaves Fink, Fullan)
  • For diversity (Lumby Coleman)
  • For social justice (Blackmore)
  • Social justice scholarship in educational
    leadership emphasizes moral values, justice,
    respect, care, and equity always in the
    forefront is a consciousness about the impact of
    race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and
    disability on schools and students learning.
    (Cambron-McCabe McCarthy 2005)

Problem Statement
  • What kind of ethical thinking head teacher is
    expressing in his/her discourse?
  • What kind of leadership head teacher's action is
  • What kind of ethical dilemmas are typical in
    multicultural school?
  • What kind of values head teacher expresses?
  • What kind of vision of a multicultural school is
    head teacher's thinking connected to?

  • thematic interviews (with a pinch of in-depth
    approach) in 2004
  • 14 female and 11 male heads, of whom
  • 20 at lower lever, 2 at upper level, and 3 at
    comprehensive schools
  • 25 of municipal comprehensive schools
  • content analysis

  • Theme 1 Multiculturalism in school
  • definitions of multiculturalism
  • multiculturalism as a challenge and a resource in
    the school
  • multiculturalism staff requirements
  • Theme 2 Multicultural school
  • atmosphere and working culture
  • the joint responsibility of educating school,
    care takers
  • challenges, dlemmas, conflicts linked to
  • surprising/not anticipated situations gt solutions
  • what would you do -questions
  • Theme 3 Head teachers role
  • involvement in various dilemmas
  • courses of action
  • required characteristics
  • survival strategies
  • Theme 4 The vision of a multicultural school
  • definitions of an optimal multicultural school
  • this school after ten years
  • the task of the school in a multicultural society
    - heads role?

(Ethical) Dilemmas Faced
  • violence
  • threatening with violence
  • troublesome _individuals_
  • arguments/conflicts between ethnic groups
  • religious fanatism and absoluteness
  • participation in art and physical education
  • underestimation of female teacher
  • prejudices towards psychological tests and
    special education

Background of Solutions
  • Appealing
  • Finnish school legislation I had all the piles
    in front of me and I read the basic education
    actwhich subjects includes in lower level and so
  • school curriculum Weve said that you
    participate music lessons. Period. It is said
    in the curriculum and your teacher takes care
    that your religion is not insulted.
  • municipal guidelines And then we went through
    those text, digged on the net, and after thet is
    wasnt a problem any more, when he realized that
    no one is converting his child to anything
  • Holy Quran Show me the point where its said
    that a pupil cannot attend music lessons.
  • Flexibility
  • Physical education is one thingWe have been
    drifted to adapt, so if that is so tough thing,
    the child moves according to circumstances
  • Personal reflection
  • I think that it cannot be any womans choice
    that even her eyes are covered.
  • In the meantime you just think that both ow us
    want the best of the childBut we just have
    difference in views of it..

Actions Towards Just/Ethical Leadership
  • preventive actions
  • teaching arrangements
  • flexible structures
  • support of mother tongue teacher
  • external support
  • experts
  • education department
  • multidisciplinary networks
  • professional apathy (Airaksinen 1993)
  • slow knowledge - patient leading (Claxton 1999,
    Hargreaves Fink 2006)

  • Airaksinen, T. (ed.) 1993. Ammattien ja
    ansaitsemisen etiikka. 3. painos. Helsinki
  • Fullan, M.G. and Hargreaves, A. 1991. Whats
    Worth Fighting For? Working together for your
    school. Australian Council for Educational
    Administration, Hawthorn.
  • Cambron-McCabe, N. M. McCarthy, M. 2005.
    Educating school leaders for social justice.
    Educational Policy, Vol. 19, No. 1, 201-222.
  • Claxton, G. 1999. Hare brain, tortoise mind Why
    intelligence increases when you think less.
    Hopewell, NJ Ecco Press.
  • Greenfield, W.D. 2004. Moral leadership in
    schools, Journal of Educational Administration,
    Vol. 42 No. 2, pp. 174-96.
  • Hargreaves, A. Fink, D. 2006. Sustainable
    leadership. San Fransisco Jossey-Bass.
  • Huttunen, R., Tynjälä, P. Heikkinen, H.L.T.
    2003 Rakentavasti konstruktivismista. Puolimatkan
    kriittisen kritiikin kritiikki. Kasvatustieteen
    päivät 20.11.2003.
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