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EXPERIENCES, OBSTACLES, AND SUCCESSES: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF THE PROFESSIONAL JOURNEYS OF BLACK K-12 PRINCIPALS

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posted on 2024-04-23, 17:43 authored by Shawn WoodenShawn Wooden

This qualitative narrative inquiry studied the career journeys of five Black school principals from Indiana with five or more years of experience in their role. The purpose of this study was to understand the following: (a) the experiences of each participant including who influenced them to pursue the principal role, (b) their successful endeavors as principals, (c) the obstacles they have faced along the path to the principalship, and (d) their beliefs as to why they have persisted in the role for at least five years.

The data were collected through two rounds of individual semi-structured interviews with the participants. Each round was at least three weeks apart. This protocol sparked rich discussion from which five themes emerged: (1) relationships vs. results, (2) scholarship, (3) perseverance, (4) ongoing issues, and (5) mentorship. Each of these themes was revisited with each participant in the second round of interviews.

The analysis of the data from this study led to three specific assertions that are discussed in the final chapter. Assertion #1: Effective professional mentorship has a positive impact on Black principals’ ability to persevere. Assertion #2: Black principal perseverance is fueled by reflection and intrinsic sources of inspiration. Assertion #3: A disposition toward life-long learning has a positive impact on a Black principals’ ability to persevere. These assertions and the corresponding implications were developed after a careful examination of the current literature on school leadership and the Black principal experience. This study can be utilized as a purposeful tool to recruit, develop, and retain Black educators generally and Black school leaders specifically.

History

Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy

Department

  • Educational Studies

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

LaMonica Clemons Williams

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Marilyn A. Hirth

Additional Committee Member 2

Alice A. Johnson

Additional Committee Member 3

F. Richard Olenchak