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Corrupted Principles and the Challenges of Critically Reflective Leadership

Christine Cunningham

Corrupted Principles and the Challenges of Critically Reflective Leadership documents the author’s research as a K-12 principal in an elite American International School in Bolivia. During those years she kept a daily journal of her work that revealed exactly how the school fabricated college transcripts and passed failing students and examines why the school remained unaccountable for its corrupt actions.
Against a backdrop of national crisis when Bolivia’s indigenous majority struggled to gain executive political power and invoke inclusive and pluralistic education reforms, this book details how the school’s plutocratic processes helped to guarantee that its wealthy young graduates would retain their privileged place in society.
As the title suggests, Corrupted Principles and the Challenges of Critically Reflective Leadership reveals the author’s professional Dilemma to remain true to her education ideals while leading a corrupt school. How she resolved this ethical predicament is the crux of this study and illuminates the challenges and inspiration of doing Critically Reflective Leadership.

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CHAPTER 2 Critical Education Theory 23

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CHAPTER 2 Critical Education Theory What kind of educational system do we have? What kind do we need? How do we get from one to the other? Can education develop students as critical thinkers, skilled workers, and active citizens? Can it promote democracy and serve all stu- dents equitably? These big questions preoccupy many people because schooling is a vast undertaking and mass experience in society, involving tens of millions of peo- ple, huge outlays of money, and diverse forces contending over curriculum and funding. All this activity converges in schools, programs, and colleges, where each generation is socialized into the life of the nation. Ira Shor, 1992: 11 Introduction This chapter examines the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of my thesis. In doing so, I acknowledge the importance of locating my- self in a specific theoretical terrain so that my thesis journey is devel- oped from a clearly articulated personal praxis. As a teacher and princi- pal I ground my personal and professional choices within the tradition of critical education theory. This tradition allows me to articulate a dialectic between critical theory and red pedagogy and in the following chapter I will attempt to elaborate on the contribution of each to my own practice. I will first introduce critical education theory by tracing its historical development through what I consider, its three principal incarnations: critique; qualitative inquiry; and, transformative pedagogy. Throughout the process I will highlight the key categories that are central to my alignment with, and adoption of, critical...

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