Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How Black Male Principals in New York City Experience and Make Meaning of Racial Bias
by Martin, David Kreigh, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2019, 277; 13904614
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative dissertation study examines how Black male principals in New York City experience and make meaning of racial bias. It centers on the racialized experiences nine Black male principals have with students, staff and/or supervisors, as narrated by their stories and in their own words. It details: (1) what counts as racial bias for these Black male principals (research question one), (2) how these Black male principals experienced racial bias (research question two) and (3) how these Black male principals made meaning of their experiences with racial bias (research question three). Two methodological frameworks (narrative inquiry and phenomenology) were melded to collect and analyze these racialized experiences. Critical Race Theory provides a lens for understanding the context and paradigms wherein these principals’ lived experiences occurred at those particular moments in their careers. The study was conducted in New York City and included principals from charter and traditional public school contexts. Central to understanding the phenomenon (and the resulting findings and implications) was the process of grappling with participants’: (1) perception of how others interacted with and identified them as a Black male principal and (2) perception of their own race-ethnicity (Black).

Findings of the study indicated that: (1) Early racialized experiences may influence how Black male principals respond to racialized experiences as leaders and (2) Experiences of racial bias as leaders may directly influence and constrain how Black male principals lead. Implications of the study suggest that: (1) racial bias is a cost to the lives and leadership of Black male principals: (a) Black male principals face constraints in performing their roles in the same ways that the scholarly literature posits are common among effective principals and therefore that; (b) the experiences of racial bias these leaders discuss may directly influence and limit how they lead; (c) racial stress, racism as trauma and storytelling as awareness are important components of understanding the lived experiences of Black male principals. Recommendations include (1) positioning narrative inquiry as a gain and response to the costs of racial bias on Black male principals; (2) creating and sustaining inquiry communities as an intervention for Black male principals and; (3) emphasizing the importance and benefit of having Black male school leaders engaging in this work as scholar practitioners.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stevenson, Howard C.
Commitee: Whitelaw, Jessica, Jordan, Will
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational and Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, African American Studies
Keywords: Black male principals, Critical race theory, Narrative inquiry, Phenomenology, Racial bias, Storytelling
Publication Number: 13904614
ISBN: 9781085753388
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