Title Educational Politics for Social Justice
Author Catherine Marshall, Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin, Mark Johnson
ISBN 9780807763230
List price USD 39.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 264
Book size 152 x 228 mm
Publishing year 2020
Original publisher Teachers College Press (Eurospan Group)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“This is a text that supports leaders as they shift the ways they engage with the political and policy process and utilize their spheres of influence to challenge and disrupt the systems that stymie transformation in a local context….(It)challenges those who want to work toward justice with critical starting points, conversation starters, and strategies for collaborative leadership.
—From the Foreword by Enrique Alemán, professor and chair, educational leadership and policy studies, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Educational Politics for Social Justice is a welcome and updated text on a critical topic. Unlike other more-traditional texts addressing the politics of U.S. public schooling, the authors’ explicit commitments to using politics to enact policies that are socially just remains a radical and liberating proposition in a time of fraught political danger for many who attend and work in our public schools. The authors note that ‘playing it safe’ is the privilege for only the few and willfully ignorant. If educators are truly committed to their students, this text provides the analytic tools and consequent strategies to make public schools better for all of our students. Bravo!”
Catherine A. Lugg, professor of education, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University


Employing a social justice framework, this book provides educational leaders and practitioners with tools and strategies for grappling with the political fray of education politics. The framework offers ways to critique, challenge, and alter social, cultural, and political patterns in organizations and systems that perpetuate inequities. The authors focus on the processes through which educational politics is enacted, illustrating how inequitable power relations are embedded in our democratic systems. Readers will explore education politics at five focal points of power (micro, local/district, state, federal, and global). The text provides examples of how to “work the system” in ways that move toward greater justice and equity in schools.


Book Features:

  • Conceptualizes educational politics within a pragmatic social justice framework.
  • Examines the various layers of politics and how they interact.
  • Explains governance structures and policymaking processes, such as policy formulation and implementation.
  • Offers insights into how power operates and how it can be invoked to support the needs of struggling students.
  • Explores why certain values, needs, and ideas are heard while others are not.


Foreword Enrique Alemán



Part I: Centering Justice in Educational Politics

Chapter 1. Power, Democracy, and Social Justice Values • Introduction • Centering Justice: A Framework for Action • Power Dynamics and Control in Framing Policy • Who Defines Policy Problems? • Centering Justice: Valuing Democracy and Justice • Strategic Democratic Possibilities • Democratizing Politics and Centering Justice • A Centering Justice-Oriented Analysis: An Example • Summary

Part II: Multiple Arenas of Educational Politics

Chapter 2. Micropolitics: “Hidden” Conflicts and Power • Introduction • Structural Power Dynamics • Sociocultural Power Dynamics • The Power of Micropolitics for Centering Justice • Centering Justice: A Curriculum with Two Kings • Summary

Chapter 3. Democracy and Community in Districts? • Introduction • The Players on School Boards and in the Central Office • Ways to Look at District Politics and Policy • Expanding Agendas to Center Justice • Summary

Chapter 4. State Policy Shifts and Cultural Idiosyncrasies • Introduction • Shifts in the Role of State Education Policy • Key State Policymakers, Arenas of Power, and Concepts of Analysis • Summary

Chapter 5. Federal Policy Communities and Interest Groups • Introduction • The Evolving Federal Role in Education • Centering Justice: The “Opt-Out” Movement • Summary

Chapter 6. Global Education Politics • Introduction • Actors, Arenas, and Structures for International Politics • Cross-National Comparisons of Education • Social Justice Approaches to the Comparative Education Policy • Relevant Questions for International Comparisons • Differing Contexts and Values Across Countries • International Sharing and Borrowing • Continuing Challenges and Controversies • Questions from Centering Justice Framing • Global Framing of Policy Discourse • Politics for Social Justice: Thinking Glocally • Centering Justice: Greta Thunberg and “School Strikes for the Climate” • Summary

Part III: Making Connections for Policy Action

Chapter 7. Policy Webs, Pendulum Shifts, and Interconnections • Introduction • The Policy Web • Pendulum Swings of Webs of Control, Values, and Priorities • The Paradox of Policy Intent and Unintended Consequences • The Paradox of Ignoring Race and Culture: The Immigrant Experience • Interweaving of National and International Politics • Unanticipated Consequences and Hidden Goals • Cross-Purposes, Stupidity, and Contradictions • Interrelationship Among Organizations and Interest Groups • Making Connections: Family-Centered Integrated Service Systems and Schools • Centering Justice: Designing a School Around Caring Relationships • Summary

Chapter 8. Leading for Justice and Equity • Introduction • Exposing Inequitable Power and Injustice • Engaging Political Arenas • Centering Justice: Can a Superintendent Take a Stand? • Alternative Approaches for Leadership • Centering Justice in Educational Politics • Specific Tools for Centering Social Justice Leadership • Examine Advocacy Strategies • Summary



About the Authors

About the Authors:

Dr. Catherine Marshall is the R. Wendell Eaves Distinguished Professor Emerita of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her scholarly agendas have often combined gender issues and politics. Her 13 books include Designing Qualitative Research (Sage), Reframing Educational Politics for Social Justice (Allyn & Bacon), Feminist Critical Policy Analysis (Falmer), Leadership for Social Justice (Allyn & Bacon), and Activist Educator (Routledge).

Marshall is also founder of Leadership for Social Justice, which is an AERA special interest group of 430-plus educational administration scholars determined to transform our field. Marshall was the elected president of the Politics of Education Association and vice president of Division L, Politics and Policy, in the American Educational Research Association. Her honors include the Politics of Education Association Stephen Bailey Award for Shaping the Intellectual and Research Agendas of the Field, and the University Council for Educational Administration’s Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions that changed the leadership field.

Dr. Cynthia Gersti-Pepin, besides being professor and dean of the College of Ed-ucation at UMass—Amherst, is recognized nationally and internationally as a scholar who uses critical perspectives to examine educational politics and ethical leadership, particularly the media’s role in shaping the public’s understanding of educational issues and the need for reform. She served as a Fulbright Scholar at Beijing Normal University in the People’s Republic of China in 2011, and she received the Vermont Women in Higher Education Jackie M. Gribbons Leadership Award. Her most recent work is a coedited book entitled Reimagining the Public Intellectual in Education: Making Scholarship Matter, which explores the need for educational researchers to inform media debates on education policy. Gerstl-Pepin is internationally recognized as an authority on ethical leadership and the role of the media in educational politics. Poverty, with its connection to inequitable educational outcomes, has been a compel-ling theme in her work.

Dr. Mark Johnson is a researcher at The Learning Partnership in Chicago, Illi-nois. He began his career as a special education teacher in England before mov-ing across the Atlantic to teach in North Carolina. In addition to his more than 10 years of experience as a classroom teacher, Johnson has worked as a school administrator, policy analyst, and researcher. Johnson earned his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His current research is focused on policy entrepreneurship and achieving equity for underrepresented students in the area of computer science.

Target Audience:

This textbook is useful for educational leaders and practitioners for grappling with the political fray of education politics.

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