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 PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, EDUCATION (education.oxfordre.com). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 15 November 2018

Summary and Keywords

The growing economic and employment disparities between members of different socioeconomic groups often paint a bleak future for people living in marginalized communities. These conditions are reflected in many low-performing urban schools where dropouts, behavioral problems, and poor academic performance prevail. In the United States, large numbers of adolescents have a sense of hopelessness, particularly among racial and ethnic minority groups. Despite these challenging circumstances, school leaders are well positioned to build these urban students’ hope for a bright future. Using hope theory—goal development, agency, and pathways—as a foundation, the article describes ways school leaders can become agents of hope, which is reinforced by research from an international study of leadership in low-performing schools. The article concludes by examining how leadership preparation and development programs can influence aspiring and practicing school leaders’ capacities to become agents of hope.

Keywords: low-performing urban schools, hope, student success, leadership practice and development

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