Culturally (ir)relevant school leadership: ethno-religious conflict and school administration in the Philippines

Melanie C. Brooks, Jeffrey S. Brooks

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Culturally relevant school leaders help establish and nurture school cultures that support the academic and social success of all students. Yet, some school leaders are not culturally responsive and make uncritical or intentional decisions that disadvantage certain students. This has implications for students marginalized by the dominant culture, especially in contexts of social unrest where culturally irrelevant leadership can reinforce existing social and academic divisions. This research centered on school principals in Northern Mindanao, Philippines. The region has a long history of ethno-religious conflict which has displaced two million people and killed 160,000 people over the last 40 years. The purpose of this research was to explore how and in what ways school principals in Northern Mindanao are culturally (ir)relevant leaders. One research question guided this inquiry: How and in what ways do school principals in Northern Mindanao understand and practice culturally relevant leadership? The research findings make explicit the importance of meaningful principal preparation and professional development programs that interweave culturally relevant leadership skills, reflective practice, and inter-cultural understanding in ways that can be locally applied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-29
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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