Dimensions of Social Justice Leadership: A Critical Review of Actions, Challenges, Dilemmas, and Opportunities for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in U.S. Schools

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Empirical research has described how school leaders with social justice orientations investigate, understand, and address issues related to marginalization. These studies detail many of the heroic efforts of principals and their dedication, persistence, and skill. Theoretical and empirical writings have often presented social justice leadership as a “cure-all” to inequities rather than politically situated leadership orientation that in its practice is dilemma-laden. This article draws upon previous research on effective leadership as well as highlighting key aspects related to special educational policy in U.S. public schools to cultivate a more in-depth understanding of the practice of social justice leadership for inclusion. This analysis is presented to prompt a more in-depth and practice-oriented discussion, analysis, and understanding of the challenges associated with social justice leadership. Recommendations for future research and a more communityoriented and activist approach to social justice leadership are presented and justified at the conclusion of the article.