Leadership and mestizaje : a case study of three Latino public school superintendents in Texas
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This study described and analyzed the characteristics of three Latino public school superintendents in the state of Texas and gained insight into their leadership behaviors; particularly their leadership styles, and the influences of cultural, familial, social, and other environmental factors on the leadership behaviors of the participants. This study considered the notion of mestizaje, that social, cultural, and historical experience of persons of Latino (Iberoamerican) extraction; how mestizaje informs leadership behaviors. The study followed qualitative research design and protocols, and utilized the case study method. Data gathered through three semistructured interviews with each of the three participants, direct observations, and document reviews informed the findings. Findings regarding the characteristics of Latino public school superintendents and the influence of mestizaje on their professional behaviors surround four themes: empowering for leadership; informing leadership behaviors; leading for social justice; and school district functions in action. The notion of agency emerged as a primary consideration in the conclusions, reflecting the imperative relation between social, cultural, and historical experiences, and one’s position as a superintendent. The multiple subjectivities inherent in mestizaje are conversely opportunities for being transformational; thereby the locus of forging multiple objectivities.