Identity and diversity: A case study of leaders in a South African primary school

Heystek J. ; Lumby J. (2011)


The article explores school leaders' perspective of their identity and how this relates to their leadership in an ethnically diverse school. This case study indicates that, in general, the leaders are only partly aware of their own identity and of the complex issues related to diversity in the school. Diversity is still predominantly conceptualised as meaning the former racial groups. Significant efforts are made by leaders to unshackle themselves from discriminatory acts or attitudes; the result is 'colour blindness' and attitudes which tend to neglect the significance of one's own identity and that of other individuals and groups. This limited or narrow conceptualisation of diversity and one's own identity has implications for the leadership of schools. There is still a strong emphasis on the 'other' or 'anderskleuriges', identifying 'us' and 'them', which is indicative of the persistence of unequal power relations in the school. © 2011 Copyright Centre for Education Practice Research (CEPR).

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