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ERIC Number: ED528515
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 368
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-5518-9
Voices of Identity and Responsibility: A Description of the Development of Identity, Using Cross' Theory of Nigrescence, and the Manifestation of Responsibility among African-American Urban School Principals
Byrd, Clavon, Sr.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Cardinal Stritch University
This research described the retrospective formation of identity and manifestation of responsibility of four African-American female leaders who served as urban school principals. Cross (1971, 1991) determined that African-Americans undergo a four step process of identity development that he coined Nigrescence. Within these four stages of identity development, African-Americans engage in an encounter which begins the identity development process. Along the way, African-Americans learn about themselves and their culture as they learn to embrace their identities. In this study, the researcher coalesced the prevailing research surrounding Nigrescence and the manifestation of responsibility, using a multiple case study methodology. The individuals considered for this study was the population of African-American principals working in the Milwaukee Public Schools district. The participants in this study were selected using a two phase selection process. During the first phase of the selection process, principals in the district were asked to identify their peers whom they perceived to be effective African-American principals, using a socio-gram. Individuals were identified as effective based upon the criteria of perceived proficiency in at least three of the six lenses of principal effectiveness, which was a tool used by the district to evaluate its principals. Then, the researcher cross-referenced the names of the individuals submitted via the socio-gram with statewide test scores over the past two years. Specifically, schools with increases in test scores at grades four, eight, or ten over the past two years were considered as part of the participant pool for this study. Thus, the population for this study was reduced to nine African-American principals, representing both genders. The researcher contacted each of these principals to invite them to join the study as participants, citing that participants were to be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Ultimately, four African-American female principals responded to the researcher's request, and they agreed to be the participants in this study. The participants served in a variety of school settings ranging from elementary school through high school at the time of this study. The researcher interviewed each participant twice concerning their respective stages of identity development and the manifestation of responsibility. Each central participant identified both a personal and professional associate who were interviewed and provided more detail about identity development and manifestation of responsibility in the participant's lives. To achieve triangulation, the researcher conducted a confirmatory focus group with the central participants of the study to confirm the themes unearthed via the interview process. The emerging data were categorized and integrated into a model profiling the stages of Nigrescence and manifestation of responsibility of effective black principals of urban schools. The researcher found that each participant's identity had a great affect on how she manifested responsibility for her constituents and herself. The researcher termed this heightened responsibility as mission-like responsibility to their jobs as urban school principals. The resulting model associated with this research will guide leaders in developing a better understanding of the black experience, and it will encourage them to create work climates that support diversity, foster dispositional intelligence within their organizations, and provide opportunities for organizational service. [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: Elementary Education; Grade 10; Grade 4; Grade 8; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin