The purpose of this monograph, the 6th in the Fielding Monograph Series, is to document some of these changes and their social response, based on six in-depth studies conducted by graduates from Fielding’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership for Change.
- Dr. Monique Morris investigates the intersecting factors that contribute to the over-representation of youth of color, including Black girls, in the juvenile justice system. Her phenomenological study found that Black girls often experience a history of exclusionary discipline and poor relationships with schools, which is exacerbated by the absence of a learning environment in confinement. This further constricts their ability to build positive relationships with teachers and each other.
- Dr. Mark Jordan turns our attention to the experiences of sexual minority youth confronting heterosexism and homophobia. He argues that sexual minority youth are an at-risk population because of the hostile environments they face in school, their community, or even at home. His study investigated their resilience, and found that interpersonal relationships were key to maintaining that resilience.
- Dr. Charissa Cordon investigates the growing importance of self-determined learning or heutagogy in high-pressure workplaces. She focuses her research on self-determined learning among nurses in the critical environment of a quaternary cancer institution, and found that the most frequent factor that either enabled or constrained nurses from engaging in heutagogy was time.
- Dr. Leslie Chang addresses another phenomenon in our modern society: the ongoing disengagement and marginalization of Latino parents in urban schools. Educational research highlights the importance of parent engagement; however, the voices and engagement of white parents as partners and leaders continues to prevail in schools. Her study showed that careful attention from school leaders allowed Latino parents to develop their own initiatives, empowering them to organize and impact change.
- Dr. Lucinda Jacobs Garthwaite looks at social change from a systems perspective. Her study explored the question: Is it possible for personal practices to support emancipatory systems change, or do they rather perturb a system to emancipatory change? In either case, what are those practices? Her phenomenological study, based on conversations with 30 participants, uncovered some surprising insights on the issue.
- Finally, Dr. Arega Yirdaw takes us outside North America, specifically to the declining educational standards in private institutions in Ethiopia. He wonders whether factors of leadership and governance either contribute to or prevent this decline. His results indicate that these institutions are continuously challenged to balance government requirements and stakeholder demands in an environment fraught with underfunding, scarcity of qualified instructors, poor infrastructure, poorly qualified students, and a biased regulatory environment. Taken together, the contributions to this publication show that while social change in our modern world is fraught with severe challenges, the outcome of these studies shows that there are also promising seeds of hope.
Published November 12, 2015