Voices of four African American and European American female principals and their leadership styles in a recognized urban school district
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This research study was conducted as a case study method on four African American and European American female educational administrators. The qualitative research framework was adopted to gain an understanding of how these administrators in secondary educational leadership positions exercised and (re)interpreted (Dillard, 1995) their leadership. The intent of my case study was to broaden the limited research base relating to the lived stories and experiences of the principalship from those whose voices can inform others about pertinent issues of leadership through diversity. In order to develop a clearer understanding of the administrators' perceptions on diverse leadership as it related to student academic performance, this study investigated constructed meanings of the relationship between their lived experiences and the way they led, by employing the feminist and interpretive lenses. This qualitative study used the actual words of the participants to tell their story, as it provided a rich representation of the ideas presented. Data was collected through in-depth, open-ended interviews, and semi-structured face-to-face interviews through which the events, beliefs, and perceptions shaped the phenomenon under study. Analysis of the data occurred immediately after each interview and observation. Analytic conclusions were formulated by unitizing, coding, and then categorizing ideas or statements of experiences from the data to ensure that important constructs, themes, and patterns emerged. The results of this study yielded the following as it related to the voices of four African American and European American female principals and their leadership styles in a recognized urban school district: (1) many forms or ways of leading were practiced by the administrators; (2) their upbringing or developmental pathways were different, however, they were determined to positively impact the lives of others throughout their educational career; (3) mentoring played an instrumental part in the administrators' leadership practices; (4) high student academic achievement was a result of effective professional development initiatives for their faculties; (5) they held themselves accountable for the outcomes of student academic performance; (6) they viewed diversity in leadership as critical; and (7) three of the four administrators identified their belief in a higher being as significant in their way of leading.
Turner, Clara Thompson (2004). Voices of four African American and European American female principals and their leadership styles in a recognized urban school district. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from