Decolonizing Leadership Practices in Inner-City Schools Affected by Complex Poverty
Jutras, Mickey E
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My experiences as an inner-city principal in an urban center in Saskatchewan illuminated the need to examine school leadership within this unique context. Poverty in Saskatchewan disproportionally impacts Indigenous peoples, many of whom concentrate into inner-city communities. Schools that serve these communities face significant challenges and a pronounced need to close persistent achievement gaps. I adhered to an Indigenous research paradigm including the activation of a cultural advisory committee, ethical principles based on relationality, utilization of the conversation method for data collection, and centering both local tribal knowledge and decolonizing intentions in the study. Eleven participants, representing a variety of roles within and in support of an inner-city school and urban school division, generously shared their voices. The study identified the clear existence of complex poverty and associated challenges in the participating school and school division. School-based leaders were seen as playing a pivotal role in ensuring success for Indigenous students within these schools and dispositional traits and important actions of leaders were advanced. It was understood that leadership within these schools needed to be differentiated from leadership in suburban schools. A conceptualization for leadership that was constructed specifically for the Saskatchewan inner-city context is presented. Through the study I tested and refined the leadership conceptualization with members of the school community. The study advances the notion that school leaders should work in partnership with their community to decolonize education in inner-city schools.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeNewton, Paul; Cottrell, Michael; Pushor, Debbie; Xiao, Jing
Copyright DateJune 2022