Multiple hues: New Zealand school leaders’ perceptions of social justice


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Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice

New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society

Subject: Education


ISSN: 1178-8690





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VOLUME 30 , ISSUE 1 (June 2015) > List of articles

Multiple hues: New Zealand school leaders’ perceptions of social justice

Michele Morrison / Rachel McNae / Christopher M. Branson

Keywords : Social justice; equity; distributive justice; cultural justice; associational justice; school leadership; Aotearoa

Citation Information : Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice. Volume 30, Issue 1, Pages 4-16, DOI:

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Published Online: 21-April-2019



Social justice is a fluid and contested notion. In the absence of a nationally accepted definition of, and commitment to, social justice, New Zealand school leaders and their communities must interpret the nature and substance of this phenomenon. This article examines the perspectives of eight secondary principals who participated in the International School Leadership Development Network’s (ISLDN) study on leadership for social justice. Whilst not explicitly theorized as such, participant perspectives of social justice reveal distributive, cultural and associational dimensions. These notions are grounded in, and shaped by, seminal experiences of social justice and injustice, both personal and vicarious. They reflect the amorphous and tentative nature of school leaders’ social justice conceptions, and a clarion call for a wider professional conversation.

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