Culturally Responsive School Leadership focuses on how school leaders can effectively serve minoritized students—those who have been historically marginalized in school and society. The book demonstrates how leaders can engage students, parents, teachers, and communities in ways that positively impact learning by honoring indigenous heritages and local cultural practices.
Muhammad Khalifa explores three basic premises. First, that a full-fledged and nuanced understanding of “cultural responsiveness” is essential to successful school leadership. Second, that cultural responsiveness will not flourish and succeed in schools without sustained efforts by school leaders to define and promote it. Finally, that culturally responsive school leadership comprises a number of crucial leadership behaviors, which include critical self-reflection; the development of culturally responsive teachers; the promotion of inclusive, anti-oppressive school environments; and engagement with students’ indigenous community contexts.
Based on an ethnography of a school principal who exemplifies the practices and behaviors of culturally responsive school leadership, the book provides educators with pedagogy and strategies for immediate implementation.
Not only does Khalifa challenge us to understand our own implicit biases, he provides practical solutions for change. Culturally Responsive School Leadership couples real-world examples of systemic marginalization with specific strategies for how leaders can truly learn to interrupt systems that work only for some.
— Christine Osorio, superintendent, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, MN
Khalifa draws on his own experience as an educator in Detroit to provide others who choose to take on this difficult but important work with insights that are invaluable and not typically learned in graduate school. For educational leaders who genuinely seek to make a difference this book will be an invaluable resource.
— Pedro A. Noguera, distinguished professor of education, Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles
About the Author
Muhammad Khalifa is the Robert H. Beck Professor of Ideas in Education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota.