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Hiding Behind Democracy and Sacrificing Equity

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Abstract:

In this paper, it is posited that the term democracy, implicitly or explicitly defined and communicated, is often used for justifying the structures, processes, and practices in schools today. However, as Apple (2008, p.6) contends, the term “democracy” is ambiguous and “the rhetorical conveniences of that ambiguity is more evident than ever.” This paper focuses specifically on the rhetorical convenience of hiding behind “democracy,” which often results in structures, processes, and practices that ultimately sacrifice equity in schools. Specifically, Apple and Beane’s (1995) “conditions for democracy through education” was used as the theoretical frame to examine the ways school leaders consciously or unconsciously define democracy and operationalize their definition to advance or sacrifice equity. Using the conditions for democracy, transformational, instructional, and distributed leadership models were examined. It was concluded that each of these models could be used to advance or sacrifice equity, depending upon the leaders’ understanding and definition of “democracy through education.” In other words, if the leader defined “the common good,” a democratic tenet, as all the adults in the school getting along, then regardless of which leadership model was employed, the ultimate goal of getting along often precluded the goal of achieving equity. Achieving equity in a context of changing demographics often requires schools to change structure, processes, and instructional practices—change that brings about conflict and disrupts “the common good” of getting along. Thus, if a leader holds fast to the “getting along” tenet and avoids the conflict needed to bring about change, equity is sacrificed.
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Name: UCEA Annual Convention
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http://www.ucea.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p377984_index.html
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MLA Citation:

McKenzie, Kathryn. "Hiding Behind Democracy and Sacrificing Equity" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California, <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p377984_index.html>

APA Citation:

McKenzie, K. B. "Hiding Behind Democracy and Sacrificing Equity" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p377984_index.html

Publication Type: Symposium Paper
Abstract: In this paper, it is posited that the term democracy, implicitly or explicitly defined and communicated, is often used for justifying the structures, processes, and practices in schools today. However, as Apple (2008, p.6) contends, the term “democracy” is ambiguous and “the rhetorical conveniences of that ambiguity is more evident than ever.” This paper focuses specifically on the rhetorical convenience of hiding behind “democracy,” which often results in structures, processes, and practices that ultimately sacrifice equity in schools. Specifically, Apple and Beane’s (1995) “conditions for democracy through education” was used as the theoretical frame to examine the ways school leaders consciously or unconsciously define democracy and operationalize their definition to advance or sacrifice equity. Using the conditions for democracy, transformational, instructional, and distributed leadership models were examined. It was concluded that each of these models could be used to advance or sacrifice equity, depending upon the leaders’ understanding and definition of “democracy through education.” In other words, if the leader defined “the common good,” a democratic tenet, as all the adults in the school getting along, then regardless of which leadership model was employed, the ultimate goal of getting along often precluded the goal of achieving equity. Achieving equity in a context of changing demographics often requires schools to change structure, processes, and instructional practices—change that brings about conflict and disrupts “the common good” of getting along. Thus, if a leader holds fast to the “getting along” tenet and avoids the conflict needed to bring about change, equity is sacrificed.


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