Culturally relevant leadership: advancing critical consciousness in American Muslim students

Miriam Ezzani, Melanie Brooks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore how leaders in an Islamic school in the United States engaged in culturally relevant leadership (CRL) within a diverse school community to develop students’ critical social consciousness. Research Design: Data were collected over 4 years at an Islamic K-8 school in the United States and included the following: 12 in-depth semistructured interviews with school and community leaders; 4 phone interviews; 7 focus group interviews with teachers, students, and parents; 5 observations of classroom and school events; and documents from the Islamic center, school, and classrooms. Data specific to the school leaders were analyzed using tenets of CRL. Findings and Conclusions: This article describes how Muslim and non-Muslim leaders in an Islamic school engaged in the tenets of CRL. This study suggests that the tenets of CRL, in this context, were grounded in inter and intrafaith dialogue, cultural syncretism, and a unique focus on the development of an American Muslim identity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)781-811
    Number of pages31
    JournalEducational Administration Quarterly
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


    • American Muslim identity
    • cultural syncretism
    • culturally relevant leadership
    • educational leadership
    • interfaith and intrafaith dialogue
    • Islamic school leadership

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