Term of Award

Fall 2006

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

none

Committee Member 2

none

Abstract

Author's abstract: This study is an auto/biographical inquiry into my voice and vision as a Black woman administrator. I explore the lives of four generations of Black women in my family. Each of these women -- Hattie C. Wilcher (my great grandmother), Connie W. Duggan (my mother), Danielle R. Lowe (my daughter), and I -- have studied and/or taught in public schools in the U. S. south. I explore how my family narrative parallels community and historical narratives and contests the meta narrative in existing literature. I explore these narratives through the lenses of Critical Race Theory and Black Feminist Thought to better understand how our experiences as Black females in an endemically racist educational system impact my practice as principal of a Title I elementary school. More than fifty years after the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, gaps in achievement among Black students and their white peers persist while efforts at school reform fail to meet expectations. Drawing on the knowledge I have gained from my participants and the inquiry, I offer an ethic of care-and-justice as a framework for transforming schools, such as the one I lead, into spaces where all children can reach their highest potential.

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