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                            University of Missouri, St. Louis
IRL @ UMSL
	12-18-2015
TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP: BUILDING SOCIAL EQUITY THROUGH INDIVIDUALIZED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
	Curtis David Gunn
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University of Missouri, St. Louis
IRL @ UMSL

Dissertations UMSL Graduate Works

12-18-2015

TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP:
BUILDING SOCIAL EQUITY THROUGH
INDIVIDUALIZED PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT
Curtis David Gunn
University of Missouri-St. Louis, [email protected]

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT" (2015). Dissertations. 130.
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TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP: BUILDING SOCIAL EQUITY

THROUGH INDIVIDUALIZED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT












BY

CURTIS D. GUNN

B.S., Fontbonne University, 1996

M.S., Fontbonne University, 1997

M.Ed., University of Missouri, St. Louis, 2010

Ed.S, University of Missouri, St. Louis, 2012









DISSERTATION

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements

For the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education

In the graduate School of the

University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2015



December, 2015

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RUNNING HEAD: TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP: BUILDING SOCIAL EQUITY THROUGH INDIVIDUALIZED

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT







59

American students as compared to 29% of the staff. The disparity in the number of

African-American students in relation to the staff was startling and needs to be addressed

(see table 1). In addition, only 13% of the certified staff was African-American while

the non-certified staff was at 53%. The majority of the skilled positions were filled by

Causations.



Table 1: General Demographics

Staff Students

29%

Minority

65%

Minority



Table 2: Minority Certification

Status



Certifi

ed

Non-

Certifie

d

African-

American

3 8

Caucasian 23 15

Percentage

Minority

13% 53%



These numbers have only changed slightly during my tenure. I have had the

opportunity to hire four certified staff members and only one was an African-American.

This is an area of need requiring much greater effort at locating and hiring skilled

African-American teachers and therapists. I need to examine my hiring practices and

ensure that these percentages more closely reflect our student population.

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RUNNING HEAD: TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP: BUILDING SOCIAL EQUITY THROUGH INDIVIDUALIZED

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT







60

Seven Tenets of Social Justice Leadership

A Combination of Both Critique and Promise.

In an effort to promote equity there must be a method for examining practices to

ensure students all have an equal opportunity to learn. Reflecting on or critiquing ones

practices is a method to build greater understanding of ourselves and how we think. This

critique can be daunting, but it is an imperative first step if practices are expected to

improve. Along with the critique, there must be promise, the belief in the possibility of

eventually achieving the desired goal. I prefer to think of promise in terms of hope.

Sheilds (2010) outlines a need to “challenge current practices and to begin to do things

differently.” She further encourages optimism in the quest to overcome deficit thinking

and accepting the responsibility for all children becoming successful. Reflection on

current practices coupled with action, creates hope for all children to succeed.

In the midst of situations it can be difficulty to have clarity. This was

evident more than ever in the St. Louis area, particularly, Ferguson, Missouri where

Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer in August of 2015. The

tragic and untimely death of Michael Brown triggered many emotions on all sides, black,

white, and blue. It also inspired a great deal of fear. The rioting and looting that occurred

in the days after the shooting and again after the results of the investigation were revealed

created a fear that cut across racial lines. If there could be a silver lining in this awful

circumstance, it was the conversation that stemmed from that situation and other police

involved shootings that occurred in the months following. The United States Justice

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT







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