Walking a tightrope or catapulting from a cannon?

By Nancy B. Gutiérrez
Categories: Equity, Leadership
December 2021
James Lovelace’s 8th-grade English classroom was not like the other classes in the middle school where he taught in East San Jose, California. His students sat in a circle, Socratic seminar style, and discussed poetry. They dissected the lyrics to songs like Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” His students wrote essays about what it meant to be themselves, to be young people of color growing up in a vibrant Latinx community that also faced its share of challenges. They debated issues of family and life choices that came up when reading The Pearl and To Kill a Mockingbird. As a new teacher, he saw that most of his colleagues had been teaching the same material in the same way for 20-plus years — and many of

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In


Alvarez, A. (2019). Confronting inequity/teacher leadership for equity. Educational Leadership, 76(6).

Berg, J.H. (2018). Educating ourselves for equity. Educational Leadership, 76(3).

Brooks, J.S., Jean-Marie, G., Normore, A., & Hodgins, D. (2007). Distributed leadership for social justice: Exploring how influence and equity are stretched over an urban high school. Journal of School Leadership, 17(4), 378-408.

Gordon, S.P. & Ronder, E.A. (2016). Perceptions of culturally responsive leadership inside and outside of a principal preparation program. International Journal of Educational Reform, 25(2).

Jones, S. & Vagle, M.D. (2013). Living contradictions and working for change: Toward a theory of class-sensitive pedagogy. Educational Researcher, 42(3), 129-141.

Klingner, J.K., Artiles, A.J., Kozleski, E., Harry, B., Zion, S., & Tate, W. (2005). Addressing the disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education through culturally responsive educational systems. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 13(38), 1-40.

Meyerson, D. (2004). The tempered radicals: How employees push their companies —little by

Moore, M.H. (1997). Creating public value: Strategic management in government. Harvard University Press.

Rigby, J.G. & Tredway, L. (2015). Actions matter: How school leaders enact equity principles. In M. Khalifa, A. Noelle Witherspoon, A.F. Osanloo, & C.M. Grant (Eds.), Handbook of urban educational leadership. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Smith, C.A. (2005). School factors that contribute to the underachievement of students of color and what culturally competent school leaders can do. Education Leadership and Administration, 17.

Sue, D.W., Torino, G.C., Campodilupo, C.M., Rivera, D.P., & Lin, A.I. (2009). How white faculty perceive and react to difficult dialogues on race: Implications for education and training. The Counseling Psychologist, 37(8).

Theoharris, G. (2010). Disrupting injustice: Principals narrate the strategies they use to improve their schools and advance social justice. Teachers College Record, 112(1), 331-373.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Nancy Gutierrez
+ posts

Nancy B. Gutiérrez (ngutierrez@ is president and CEO of The Leadership Academy.

Categories: Equity, Leadership

The Learning Professional

Published Date


  • Recent Issues

    April 2024

    Technology is both a topic and a tool for professional learning. This...

    February 2024

    How do you know your professional learning is working? This issue digs...

    December 2023

    Professional learning can open up new roles and challenges and help...

    October 2023

    Both special education and general education teachers need support to help...

    Skip to content