Urban African American Charter School Principals: Cultural Competence and Teacher Faculty Development
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This qualitative research study involves eight African American charter school principals. I chose a qualitative research framework to provide these eight participants with the opportunity to use their voices and express their backgrounds, life experiences and leadership practices about their cultural competence identities and the impact of this on teacher faculty development, primarily professional development. A dearth of literature exists regarding the lived experiences of African American charter school principals, their cultural competence identities and impact on teacher faculty development. Therefore, the purpose of the study expands on this limited research base. The undergirding research questions of this study include: (a) how do African American charter school principals describe their cultural competence identities, (b) how do African American charter school principals describe exercises of professional development for cultural proficiency, and (c) how do African American charter school principals interpret their acts of cultural competence related to teacher faculty development. A thematic analysis yielded the following themes related to the experiences of eight African American charter school principals, their cultural competence identities and impact on teacher faculty development: (a) Mirrors Reflect Black Gems, (b) Breaking Bread but Not Breaking Shackles, and (c) Shattering Oppression. Findings from this research provided the following evidence: (a) school leaders’ cultural competence identities reflect each of their students as Black Gems, consistently educating and preparing their students for racial adversity, (b) professional development sessions were seen as a means to “break bread” instead of producing tangible results regarding cultural competence, and (c) school leaders shattered oppression by choosing to either let go or nurture a teacher struggling with cultural competence. The main conclusion drawn from this research suggests the development of a formal framework by which cultural competence training follows and embeds within daily practice. The last chapter provided implications and recommendations for future research, policy and practice.
Theory of Nigrescence
Transformative Learning Theory
Butterfield, Vernee Anita (2018). Urban African American Charter School Principals: Cultural Competence and Teacher Faculty Development. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from