Contemporary othermothering and the principalship: how gender and culture impact the identities of African American female secondary principals




Gray, Pamela L.

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The purpose of this multiple case study was to examine the ways African American female secondary principals create their identities and leadership styles within the social context of urban high schools. The study sought to understand how gender and culture impact the principals' work and life path. The theoretical lens utilized for this study was the Afrocentric Feminist Framework. Three female African American secondary school principals that met the researcher's criteria were selected. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Field notes and artifacts that represent the personal and professional lives of the women were reviewed. After analyzing the data, common purposes and roles were identified. The results of the study yielded five themes that represent the African American female secondary school principal experience: 1) Fearless Game Changer; 2) Othermother/Student Centered; 3) Spiritually Grounded and Guided; 4) Survivor; and 5) Transformational Leader. A conceptual model was designed based on the themes and theoretical lens entitled "The Four R's Leadership Model of African American Female Secondary Principals". The elements of the model are: 1) resiliency, 2) relationship; 3) redesign and 4) reflection.


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Othermothering, African American female, Afrocentric feminist framework, Secondary school



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies