FLDC member Ann Ishimaru, along with Mollie Galloway, published an article, “Hearts and Minds First: Institutional Logics in Pursuit of Educational Equity” in the August 2020 Educational Administration Quarterly.
Abstract: Purpose:Despite an explosion of professional development to help educators discuss issues of race and equity, expectations for addressing racial disparities outstrip current leadership practices, and scant empirical research exists on the organizational changes that emerge from the work of equity teams. This study examined equity teams’ theories of organizational change for equity and how those theories related to their efforts to change school policies and practices. Research Methods/Approach: Drawing on institutional logics from organizational theory, this comparative case study examined transcripts and fieldnotes from 22 meetings and 27 interviews with two school equity teams in diverse contexts in the Pacific Northwest. Findings: Despite differences in the principals, team conversations, and organizational contexts, we found that both teams’ discussions asserted a primary theory of change for shifting schools toward greater equity. According to this “commonsense” notion, efforts to become more equitable as a school first require shifts in individuals’ understandings, beliefs, and attitudes—changes to “hearts and minds”—prior to engaging in other actions to address organizational change. Ultimately, our findings suggest that the dominance of a hearts-and-minds-first theory of change constrained changes to organizational policies, structures and practices. Conclusions: Alternative theories of change to catalyze equity-focused organizational shifts hold promise for fostering educational justice. Future participatory design research with schools may yield knowledge of multiyear organizational change.
Access the full article here.