This qualitative inquiry of the experiences of six African American women high school principals, current and recently exited from east coast secondary schools, employs in-depth interviews and a focus group. Through interviews I explored these secondary school leaders’ personal and professional experiences to reveal their perspectives on the ways identity informs their ability to influence others, shape professional relationships, and enact leadership in their secondary schools. Identity was also an important influence on their ability to strategically navigate power relations within and beyond their school contexts. The experiences and perspectives of African American women school leaders in secondary settings have been under-represented in the educational leadership scholarship; this study seeks to contribute to an emergent body of literature in this area. As national demographics change and more school leadership vacancies emerge, African American women leaders represent a viable candidate pool. The experiences of current African American women school leaders are valuable perspectives for leader preparation programs. This study seeks to enrich and extend educational leadership discourse and leader preparation programs, which have not fully recognized this talent pool. The findings from this study point toward ways that can be used to shape leader preparation programs and leadership recruitment efforts. Finally, this study aims to generate and share information which may support the successful navigation of this growing population of leaders within metropolitan settings, as urban school leadership changes and new positions emerge.
|Advisor:||Gold, S. Eva|
|Commitee:||Dawson, Priscilla, Waff, Diane|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Educational and Organizational Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Educational leadership, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||African american women, Leadership, Power, Principals, Relationships, Urban education|
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