This article describes a study undertaken to examine what social justice leadership looks like and accomplishes when practiced by three women heads of school in the West African county of Ghana. Definitions of social justice and social justice leadership abound and range from the all-encompassing to the tightly constrained (Berman, 2011; Cribb & Gerwirtz, 2003; Larson & Murtadha, 2002; North, 2008; Theoharis, 2007, 2009). However, this study seeks to examine the leadership responses of self-identifying or peer-identified school leaders for social justice to the unique challenges of a national school system in a developing country. The study assumes that personal definitions of social justice leadership, shaped by the cultural understandings of the study participants interacting with their life and professional experiences, will influence the approach of school leaders to providing for their students. The differences and similarities in their understanding of social justice, and the leadership practices they employ, will reflect the complexity of the interactions amongst national and school contexts, individual leadership identity, and the socially constructed understandings and practices that emerge to solve specific social justice issues in each unique school environment (Bogotch, 2002).

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Education, other