The Intersection Of Inclusion, School Culture, And Social Jus Tice Leadership

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Educating students with disabilities has evolved immensely throughout history. Initially, students with disabilities were isolated and institutionalized. Society 's perception was that it was not necessary or beneficial to invest time or resources into this group of people (Spaulding & Pratt, 2015; Dybwad, 1990; Winzer, 1998). Direct advocacy and litigations caused changes in federal legislation (Griffith, 2015; Lloyd & Lloyd, 2015). Due to the civil rights movement, stu-dents with disabilities became part of the public educational system. Our current system has evolved to the level that educators work as teams to create individual learning plans for students
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Theoharis (2007) defines social justice leadership whereby principals "make issues of race, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and other historically and currently marginalized con-ditions in the US central to their advocacy, leadership practice, and vision" (p. 223). Leaders with a social justice orientation create a strategic plan that seeks to inform and educate stake-holders about inclusion. These leaders work to transform a school culture that embraces inclusion to support students with disabilities (Cohen, 2015). Hence, inclusion can substantially affect school culture. School leaders must find a way to infuse inclusion into school culture for stu-dents with disabilities to be successful.
According to Coulston and Smith (2013), school culture and inclusion rely on each other to create the greatest impact on students. School leaders must have a positive attitude regarding inclusion for it to work. The attitude of school leaders is critical in shaping school cultures that embrace inclusive practices to meet the social, academic, and emotional needs of all students (Pe-terson & Deal, 2016). Attitudes of all stakeholders are developed based on the sup-port they re-ceive in an inclusion program. Avramidis and Norwich
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