Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership

Advisor

Marion, Russ

Committee Member

Williams , Frankie K

Committee Member

Meekins , Michelle S

Committee Member

Satterfield , James

Abstract

Culturally responsive education improves the educational success of ethnically diverse students (Gay, 2002). The research presented states the case of the need of culturally responsive leadership preparation programs that influence the practice of culturally responsive principals. Emerging evidence has found that preparation programs impact the efficacy of future school leaders (Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, Meyerson, Orr, & Cohen, 2007; Jackson & Kelly, 2002). A large body of literature points to persistent achievement gaps for children of color and especially for African American males and demands that school leadership preparation attend to issues of cultural competence (Dantley, 2005; Evans, 2007; Lopez, Magdeleno, & Mendoza Reis, 2006). The changing demographics of schools requires instructional leadership skills, advocacy skills, and specialized knowledge in what works best for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (Ladson-Billings, 2001). Despite the rise in concern about leadership preparation for cultural diversity, the research base about such programs is thin.
The guiding questions for the research are as follows: How do principal preparation programs prepare aspiring principals to be culturally responsive? How are principals prepared to practice as culturally responsive instructional leaders? How do principals practice as culturally responsive instructional leaders. Faculty of educational leadership preparation programs and culturally responsive principals from the states of Mississippi and South Carolina provided data that were analyzed with qualitative research methods, particularly the case study method. Within case analyses were conducted for each research participant. Cross-case analysis followed the within case analyses that produced emergent themes for educational leadership programs and culturally responsive principals. The emergent themes were discussed and supported Gay's (2002) theory of culturally responsive teaching and learning.

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