Shatter the System is a critique of the American education system and the social and cultural conditioning that has disadvantaged some students while advancing others. The book introduces the Equitable-Social Change Process (ESCP) model for social justice advocates and equity leaders in schools and other organizations to guide their equity efforts. The model moves leaders through four phases from awareness to accountability to ensure the equity efforts are sustainable to actionable for all stakeholders. Interwoven throughout the book is the humility, diversity, inclusion, equity framework (HDEI). Humility is a part of the framing, and also a value—a competency an equity leaders needs to facilitate conversations about the intersectionality of race, gender, identity and a host of other issues that affect behavior guidance, relationships, and curriculum. Lastly, Shatter the System offers activities, exercises, strategic equity planning ideas, and equity auditing questions to assist school and other similar organizations to transform their schools to center and advance equity. It also is a clarion call for those leaders to leverage their power, positions, and privileges to honor the dignity of others and create allyships and cross-cultural alliances for social change.
Candice Dowd Maxwell is the Distinguished Education Equity Fellow and Full Professor at the University of Central Arkansas. She is praised for her ability to work with organizations and schools to strengthen, internalized, and operationalize their equity efforts.
Section 1: Why this Book?
1The Effects of Social Conditions on Education
2Definitions and Terms
3Equity Leadership and Social Justice Advocacy
4Humility, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (HDEI) Framing
Section 2: Equitable and Social Change Process (ESCP) Model
5Awareness and Affirmation
6Allyship, Advocacy, Access and Activism
7Accountability and Auditing
8Commitment to Practice and Closing
About the Author
Maxwell, a professor and executive coach, effectively unpacks an equitable social change process model to provide four phases toward achieving equitable and transformative change. Maxwell states that the absence of humility dishonors the dignity of other people and is a direct reflection of how practitioners see themselves. She designed a humility, diversity, equity, and inclusion (HDEI) model and framework for equity leaders engaged in interpersonal skills, which starts with humility as the foundation. Maxwell provides reflexive questions, exercises, and ideas to consider at the end of each chapter for policy makers, professors, school administrators, and teachers to organize their thoughts about the social conditions that have shaped education. This is a must read for novice and experienced educators eager to diagnose and redesign instructional systems to give their students a fair and equitable education. Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
Shatter the System challenges its readers to confront and reconsider everything we thought we knew about equity. Dr. Maxwell deftly tackles the policies and practices that have led to systemic racism, particularly in education. She also highlights the potential we have, as a society, to shift the narrative and dismantle exclusionary education. Dr. Maxwell provides practitioners with a powerful model that serves as both a needs assessment and an accountability tool. This book is required reading for anyone who cares deeply about educational equity and social justice.
Being uncomfortable with inequity can be a starting point for change, but discomfort is not enough. Candice Maxwell's book suggests it is instead up to us to combine knowledge and integrity, which are the cores of leadership, to meet the considerable challenge of inequity. The truth is if we don't ensure others do well, others succeed, others have the opportunity, then we all fail. Social justice is not merely a term or a trend or a cause it is an imperative. Shattering the System addresses this fact through an all important educational lens.
Masterfully crafted! A transformative and timely must-read for everyone working in education and anyone seeking to disrupt educational inequity. Dr. Maxwell brilliantly intersects historical analysis with an actionable framework for internal, interpersonal, and systemic equity and social justice interventions. Shatter the System is a powerful and practical tool to achieve the collective impact and generational change our children deserve!
Within each chapter, Dr. Maxwell’s boldness is on full display throughout this call to action to “Shatter the System…” regarding equity leadership and social justice advocacy. What I enjoyed most about this work is her intentionality in providing practical steps that we all can to do advance our leadership, and perhaps most importantly, to be more EFFECTIVE in our leadership and social justice advocacy efforts. Wanting to lead is one thing; being equipped to achieve your leadership goals in a humble, effective, and steadfast manner is another. This book is a must-have resource for mid-career and executive leaders. It is chock full of specific tools, theory, and action steps to advance your influence as a leader and advocate.