We would like to welcome you all to the 14th International Congress on Educational Administration (ICEA), the convention of the Educational Administration Research and Development Association (EARDA). For 14 years now, the Congress on Educational Administration has been the platform for disseminating the research as well as sharing and discussing the knowledge and experience in the field of educational administration in Turkey. In that sense, the Congress has established its own tradition of educational research on educational administration in Turkey. Since 2014, we have been creating a network of national and international scholars to build collaboration in the field. As part of internationalization effort, the leading scholars in Educational Administration, Leadership and Policy have attended and served different tasks in different conventions. As part of the international orientation of the Congress, this year two prominent research groups in the field of Educational Administration, the Teacher Leadership Study and the International School Leadership Development Network are invited to attend the Congress. We believe that the 14th Congress on Educational Administration will reinforce its tradition in the local context of Turkey and will continue to strengthen its international dimension.
The main theme of 2019 ICEA is identified as “Leadership for Social Justice.” We have witnessed to the equalizing effect of public education throughout the near history of Turkey. In our personal stories and the stories of our students we have seen that the equalizing effect of education contributed to realize the potential of the students and development of the society. As a result, we believe that open and wide discussions on the relationship between education and social justice during our Congress will contribute to improve the practices in leadership and social justice.
As we developed the theme of this year’s Congress, we have considered several dimensions of social justice and leadership, that are the two key orientations in educational research. Social justice is about the disadvantaged students and obviously there are different forms of disadvantage in societies. Contrary to this fact, social justice issues in many countries are generally being addressed around economic discussions. However, it is important to keep in mind that the issue has also moral and intellectual connotations. We believe that focusing on the moral and intellectual connotations of social justice is as important as handling social and economic issues surrounding the disadvantaged groups in the society. On the other hand, social justice is closely related with the idea of democracy, gender equality and inclusiveness. As a result, these concepts are the sub-dimensions of our main theme.
On the other hand, the form and behavioral properties of leadership for social justice is equally urgent. Educational praxis, research, theory and policies have shown that leadership has a central role in advancing social justice in educational institutions. In that sense, revealing the role of leadership in ensuring equitable educational services is critical for realizing socially just educational provisions that is eventually lead to a just society.
Hopefully the ICEA 2019, specifically with the contribution of international delegates, will elaborate the competing views on educational administration and all of the delegates will equally benefit from the debates and discussions in the Congress.