Term of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Meca Williams-Johnson

Committee Member 1

Julie Garlen

Committee Member 2

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 3

Brenda Marina

Committee Member 3 Email



This research illustrates the perspectives of African American women assistant principals and their struggle to balance the expectations of many stakeholders. While they are not the ultimate building leader, they are ultimately responsible for critical tasks essential to operating the school building. Ethnographic research methods were used to explore how African American women serving as assistant principals describe balancing their responsibilities and using metaphors from dance moves shows how they described working with their principals. Critical Race Theory and Standpoint theory helped to frame this work and confirming that their counter-narratives are needed from this group to better understand their positions and how they maintain or challenge the status quo. The participants varied in age, school level and years’ experience. The findings suggest that their dance with the principals and stakeholders moves in a graceful progression. The themes used to answer the research questions were gender role expectations, faith and spirituality, belief in all children, serving as a role model and principal as a coach. Educators and parents will find insights on how these participants achieve their responsibilities and partner with others to dance in a rhythm that steadily moves toward a collective goal.

Research Data and Supplementary Material