Purpose. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the resiliency of African American males who have obtained principal positions in K-12 education. Using open-ended questions, the researcher interviewed 10 African American males to learn from their experiences of obtaining leadership positions. Their experiences of resilience will provide helpful information to those who pursue leadership positions in K-12 education.
Theoretical Framework. Resilience theory was used as a theoretical framework to study the resiliency of African American males as they defy the statistical odds against them to obtain leadership positions in K-12 education. Resilience theory focuses on the ability to overcome challenges or adapt in the midst of adversity. This theoretical framework was used to highlight the success stories of resilient African American male principals.
Findings. Commonalities related to each research question are presented in the study. Participants identified the opportunity to network or have a mentor/advisor as an important factor to obtaining leadership positions. Participants also identified their family and church as support systems and sources of encouragement. Faith, strong work ethic, persistence, and the ability to not view challenges as a barrier were factors that led to their success.
Conclusions. The researcher found common themes or factors that have contributed to the success of the 10 African American male principals. Despite their differences in experiences, years of service, and career paths, all participants identified common factors that were consistent with literature related to resilience theory. Understanding these commonalities is helpful for creating support systems for aspiring African American male leaders in K-12 education.
Recommendations. The study revealed several findings consistent with literature regarding resilience. In order to increase the presence of African American males in K-12 education, it is important to share stories of resilience. When considering recruiting, promoting, and supporting African American males in leadership, aspiring administrators should seek other African American male mentors or advisors to provide guidance and support as they choose their career path. Organizations should also create opportunities for aspiring administrators to network with current administrators to gain insight to what has helped them succeed. Furthermore, this study should expand beyond school-level administrators to include other leadership positions within education.
|Commitee:||Hamilton, John, Niemann, Sarah|
|School:||University of La Verne|
|Department:||LaFetra College of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||African American, Educational leadership, K-12 education, Male, Principal, Resiliency|
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