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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 4 Describing the Bolivian International School 73


CHAPTER 4 Describing the Bolivian International School Tell me about the incomes of your students’ families and I’ll describe to you your school (Sizer, 1994: 6). What happened these past days in Bolivia was a great revolt by those who have been oppressed for more than 500 years. The will of the people was imposed this September and October, and has begun to overcome the empire’s cannons. We have lived for so many years through the confrontation of two cultures: the culture of life represented by the indigenous people, and the culture of death represented by the West… This uprising of the Bolivian people has been not only about gas and hy- drocarbons, but an intersection of many issues: discrimination, marginalization, and most importantly, the failure of neoliberalism... We face the task of ending selfish- ness and individualism, and creating… other forms of living, based on solidarity and mutual aid. We must think about how to redistribute the wealth that is concen- trated among few hands. This is the great task we Bolivian people face after this great uprising (President of Bolivia, Evo Morales: December 30 2005). 74 Introduction This chapter is designed to explore my version of stage one of the Smyth Model of Critically Reflective Practice, or CRP. To do this I will start by briefly describing the nation of Bolivia so as to place the school in some context. I am not an expert on Bolivia and its politics and the following summary will not come close...

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