Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in The Elementary School Journal, Volume 88, Number 5, pp. 514-527. Copyright 1988 by The University of Chicago. Used by permission.


Leadership skills and the perception of leadership by students and classroom teachers are examined in 10 desegregated elementary schools. The 10 schools were first divided into "high-equity" and "low-equity" schools based on the extent to which they met "integrative" educational criteria, such as multicultural curricula, multiethnic staff, minority parent involvement, and other factors. A random sample of 202 Hispanic and Anglo students participated in a cooperative group task in gender-segregated groups composed of 3 students from each ethnic group. Results indicate that trained observers found gender differences in nonverbal and verbal leadership behaviors among students across the schools, including higher activity rates overall in the high-equity schools. Observers did not find ethnic or gender differences in global leadership scores. Teachers and students rated Hispanic students lower on leadership, and this difference was most marked for Hispanic females in low-equity schools. The article includes a discussion of variation in school desegregation effects, as well as school and community leadership roles for Hispanics