"Democratic" collaboration for school turnaround in Southern Arizona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the democratic nature of collaboration and related principal influences in one successful Southern Arizona elementary school in a changing demographic and border context in the US Southwest and where the principal did not share the same ethnic identity/cultural background. Design/methodology/approach: This case study, using Furman's ethic of community framework, draws upon a secondary analysis of existing qualitative data from one urban elementary school as part of a larger multi-case study. Participants included the Principal, Assistant Principal, eight teachers, and six parents. Findings: Findings revealed limitations in democratic collaborative processes associated with school turnaround on account of principal pressure for compliance with personal agendas and packaged curricular reform expectations. Top-down managerial practices sacrificed inclusion of stakeholders, community relationship building, and room for more authentic democratic grassroots innovation. Originality/value: Furman's ethic of community enabled deeper analysis of democratic processes at a level typically not articulated in other case studies associated with the International Successful School Principalship Project (ISSPP).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-451
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Collaborative leadership
  • Distributed leadership
  • Ethic of community
  • Leadership, Schools
  • School turnaround
  • United States of America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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