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ERIC Number: ED551995
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 266
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-7230-2
Her Story: A Qualitative Study of the Journey of the African American Woman Superintendent
Jones, Jamill Ray
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The George Washington University
The superintendency is the most male-dominated position in education (Alston, 2000; Brunner, 2000). Although statistical data reveal the disproportion between males and women in superintendent positions, the data also report a greater discrepancy in the number of African American women who have obtained superintendent positions. This qualitative study examined how race and gender affect African American women in the role of superintendent. The study was conducted through the use of 14 semistructured interviews with African American women superintendents in Mid-Atlantic states. Critical race theory, Black feminist thought, and tempered radicalism, in conjunction with in-depth, self-in-relationship interviews, were utilized to determine how race and gender impact African American women aspirants to the superintendency and how those factors lead to their appointment to that position. The findings from this study determined that African American women make meaning of their role and career path to the superintendency in a multitude of ways: preparation, leadership, core principles, relationships, positional strategies, and challenges. The participants revealed that relationships are essential to their leadership. The women regarded relationships with school board members, colleagues, family, spouses, and themselves as the core of their existence. During the interviews, similar words and descriptors were repeated across discussion of various social relationships: supporter, lover, cooperative, organizer, giver, reflective, loving, planner, thinker, reader and critical or guarded. The participants indicated how they implement positional strategies such as assimilation and adaption within various social contexts with regard to their race and gender. The findings of the study emphasized how tenets of critical race theory and black feminism were factors in how the superintendents behave and how other perceive them. Academic achievement and leadership approaches evolved from their experiences, instilled values, and inspiration for efficacy. The findings from this study document how African American women superintendents make meaning of their role and career path and how their personal and professional qualities affect the way the lead. Through the voices of the women, the story of their journey to the superintendency provides a comprehensive perspective for aspiring superintendents, search consultants, school boards, and educational leadership programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A