- The Lead for Equity Project (with Dr. Decoteau Irby and Dr. Terrance Green) is a collaborative research effort to understand and support district and school leaders in making public school systems racially equitable.
- The Family Leadership Design Collaborative (with Dr. Megan Bang) is a national-level participatory design-based research project aimed at re-centering nondominant families in racial equity efforts through the synthesis and co-design of research, measures, and practice to transform education.
- Partnering for Racial Equity (PRE) is a Research-Community Practice Partnership between the UW COE and Seattle Public Schools focused on co-designing family-school transformative agency and identity-affirming critical literacies of 2-4th grade Black youth to catalyze systemic racial equity.
- The UW Equitable Parent-School Collaboration Research Project (EPSC, with Dr. Joe Lott) was a multi-year research effort to understand, measure, and support district and community-based efforts to authentically engage families and communities in improving student learning and success within a collective impact initiative in South Seattle/South King County.
- The Organizational Leadership for Equity Project (with Dr. Mollie Galloway) examined how school leadership teams and district equity initiatives engage with data and tools to catalyze organizational learning and equitable instructional and leadership practices.
Dr. Ishimaru's scholarship in P-12 educational organizations and leadership centers on developing the collective leadership of youth, families, communities, and educators in pursuit of dignity, justice and wellbeing in educational systems. Her body of work unfolds from two key premises. First, leadership plays a crucial role in transforming the longstanding racial injustices reproduced by US public schooling policies, practices and everyday interactions. Second, we arrive at better understandings and solutions to systemic inequities when those most affected by these problems influence key processes and decisions. Because historically-rooted dynamics of power undermine efforts to lead systems towards educational justice, she aims to cultivate the equitable practice and collaboration of both systems-based leaders and racially minoritized youth and families from Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. As a community-based researcher, Faculty Research Director of the Leadership for Learning EdD program and Director of the Just Educational Leadership Institute, she seeks to contribute knowledge about the leadership practices, organizational conditions, inquiry, systems change and humanizing processes for realizing cross-racial solidarities and liberatory, community-determined educational futures. In 2020, she published Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families & Communities with Teachers College Press.
Dr. Ishimaru is a Principal Investigator on three major research projects:
Prior Research Projects:
EdD, Harvard Graduate School of Education
EdM, Education Policy Management, Harvard Graduate School of Education
MA, Curriculum and Teacher Education, Stanford University School of Education
Recent Honors & Awards
2022 UCEA William J. Davis Award for Most Outstanding Article of the Year, Educational Administration Quarterly
2021 AERA Outstanding Reviewer, Educational Researcher
2017 Exemplary Contributions to Practice-Engaged Research Award, American Educational Research Association (AERA)
2016 Jack A. Culbertson Award, University Council of Educational Administration
2015 Early career award for significant contributions to educational administration
2015 Finalist, University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award
Recent Selected Academic Publications*
Ishimaru, A.M., Irby, D. & Green, T. (2022). The paradox of organizational double jeopardy: PreK-12 equity directors in racialized and gendered educational systems. The Urban Review. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-022-00653-2
Ishimaru, A.M, Barajas-López, F., Sun, M., Scarlett, K. & Anderson, A. (2022). Transforming the role of RPPs in remaking educational systems. Educational Researcher. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X221098077
Ishimaru. A.M. & Bang, M. (2022). Designing with families for just futures in the Family Leadership Design Collaborative. Journal of Family Diversity in Education, 4(2), 130-140. https://doi.org/10.53956/jfde.2022.171
Irby, D., Green, T. & Ishimaru, A.M. (2022). PK-12 district leadership for equity: An exploration of director role configurations and vulnerabilities. American Journal of Education, 128(3), 417-453. https://doi.org/10.1086/719120
Ishimaru, A.M. & Galloway, M.K. (2020). Hearts and minds first: Institutional logics in pursuit of educational equity. Educational Administration Quarterly, 57(3), 470-502. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013161x20947459
Galloway, M. & Ishimaru, A.M. (2019). Leading equity teams: The role of formal leaders in building organizational capacity for equity. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 25(2), 107-125. https://doi.org/10.1080/10824669.2019.1699413
Ishimaru, A.M., Lott, J., O’Reilly-Diaz, K. & Torres, K. (2019). Families in the driver’s seat: Catalyzing parental transformative agency in equitable collaboration. Teachers College Record, 121(11), 1-39. https://doi.org/10.1177/016146811912101108
Ishimaru, A.M., Montaño Nolan, C., Rajendran, A., & Bang, M. (2018). Community design circles: Co-designing justice and wellbeing in family-community-research partnerships. Journal of Family Diversity in Education, 3(2), 38-63. https://doi.org/10.53956/jfde.2018.133
Ishimaru, A.M. (2018). Re-imagining turnaround: Family & community leadership in school improvement for educational justice. Journal of Educational Administration, 56(5), 546-561, https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-01-2018-0013
Ishimaru, A.M. & Takahashi, S. (2017). Disrupting racialized institutional scripts: Towards parent-teacher transformative agency for educational justice. Peabody Journal of Education, 92(3), 343-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0161956X.2017.1324660
Ishimaru, A.M. (2017). From family engagement to equitable collaboration. Educational Policy, 33(2), 350-385. https://doi.org/10.1177/0895904817691841
Galloway, M., & Ishimaru, A.M. (2017). Equitable leadership on the ground: Converging on high-leverage practices. Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 25(2). https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.2205
Ishimaru, A.M., Torres, K., Salvador, J., Lott, J., Williams, D., & Tran, C. (2016). Reinforcing deficit, journeying towards equity: Cultural brokering in family engagement initiatives. American Educational Research Journal, 53(4), 850-882. https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831216657178
*See project websites for practice and policy-focused briefs and resources!
EDLPS 511 School-Community Relations
EDLPS 565 Race, Equity & Leading Educational Change
EDLPS 570 Critical Perspectives in Educational Leadership
EDLPS 547 & 548 (L4L only) Inquiry-based Leadership