Inclusive Leadership

From Theory to Practice

Edited by:
Sheryl Cowart Moss, Georgia State University

A volume in the series: Contemporary Perspectives on Supervision and Instructional Leadership. Editor(s): Sheryl Cowart Moss, Georgia State University.

Call for Chapters

The concept of inclusion is often related to special education. Inclusive leadership does include special education, but it is much broader than just special education. Inclusive leaders work to create strong cultures where each child and each adult feels safe, supported, and valued. These leaders strive to create systems that respond to unique needs and encourage hidden potential. They continually search for those on the outskirts, who are not seen, and who are not heard. Even further, they seek to create avenues to invite those persons into the school community.

Inclusive leaders think in terms of each rather than all. This nuanced perspective values individual cultural capital. (Cowart Moss, 2020; DeMatthews, 2018; McLeskey, Waldron, & Redd, 2019). Inclusive leadership requires that principals be intentional, hypervigilant, and that they contextualize their work. These actions must be ongoing. They are not accomplishments, rather they must be a way of leading and seeing the world. (Berry, Cowart Moss & Gore, 2018; Mette, 2019).

Leaders have the power to break down barriers and to create obstacles. This power is situated within a leader’s world view, as they may perceive themselves as promoting inclusion while still operating within areas of implicit bias (Arnold, 2019; Theoharis & Causton-Theoharis, 2008; Willey & Magee, 2018). Barriers to inclusion may also reside outside of a leader’s direct control. They may be systemic, or they may arise in unforeseen and unpredictable crises. We know from history that collaboration and strong relationships can greatly impact responses to a crisis and the quality of rebuilding efforts after a crisis. (Stern, Cetron, & Markel 2009). Inclusive leadership requires ongoing reflection and a willingness to seek out opposing viewpoints while working to create a sense of belonging for each community member. While we know that this work is essential, we also know that it is exhausting. (Berry et. al, 2018; DeMatthews & Mawhinney, 2013; Hoppey & McLeskey, 2010).

As our society becomes more diverse, perceptions of inclusion become more varied. The ideal of inclusion is synonymous with belonging and caring. While, our school community members are facing enormous challenges from COVID-19, they also face stress from increasing awareness and reactions to systemic racism. While many view this as progress, change is often disruptive and tense. These dynamics can lead to isolation and fear, which does not engender the feelings at the essence of inclusion.

Given these circumstances, it is more important than ever for school leaders to cultivate an inclusive approach to their work, building a repertoire of skills to meet the unique needs of the diverse, marginalized, and unsettled members of their school communities . Leaders must have theoretical and pedagogical tools for assessing their inclusive practice capacities and for reflecting on their progress. It is equally important for these leaders to have access to resources and support for continued growth.

This volume seeks to provide a more nuanced view of what it means to be an inclusive leader as it explores the intersection of theory, research, and practice. The volume is tentatively organized around 5 proposed sections.

Introduction: Editor
Section 1: Theoretical Perspectives
Section 2: Examining The Influences of Research In Disability Services, Social Justice Leadership, and Cultural Proficiency
Section 3: Practical Applications: Inclusive Leadership in Action
Section 4: Narratives - Personal Perspectives on the Field
Section 5: Moving Forward – Where Do We Go from Here?

We have listed several questions that we hope our potential contributors will answer.

1. How might we build theory in inclusive leadership through research that seeks to inform practice?
2. How do special education, social justice, and cultural proficiency inform the constructs of inclusive leadership?
3. How can school administrators mold their practices to authentically create inclusive climates and practices?
4. What are generative conduits for future scholarship on inclusive practices for education leaders?

Submission Schedule and Due Dates
We invite potential contributors to submit the following by November 23, 2020, using the email address at the end of this call:

• A tentative title and 250-word abstract which conforms to APA (7th edition) guidelines

• An indication of the selected section (1,2 3, 4, 5) and any sub-themes for the proposed chapter

• A brief summary of the proposed chapter (500-750 words)

Full chapters will range from 7,000 to 12,000 words each, including the title, abstract, manuscript, and references. Manuscripts should be double spaced and use APA (7th Edition) guidelines for page formats, headings, citations, and references.

Narrative submissions should range from 3,000 to 7,000 words, also adhering to APA (7th Edition) guidelines.

Tentative Timeline
• October 9, 2020: – Invitation to potential authors
• November 23, 2020: Confirmation of intention to submit due to volume editor (abstract, section, and summary)
• December 21, 2021: Abstract and summary feedback to authors
• April 12, 2021: Draft chapter manuscripts due to volume editor
• June 14, 2021: Initial feedback to authors
• August 16, 2021: Chapter revisions due to volume editor
• September 13, 2021: Second round of feedback to authors
• October 18, 2021: Revised full chapters due to volume editor
• November 22, 2021: Final editing and book compilation by volume editor
• January 2022: Tentative publication

Please direct all inquiries, questions, and submissions to Sheryl Cowart Moss at

  • This title is in development and is not yet available to order online. Please call the IAP office for more information: 704.752.9125
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