Latina Principals and the Development of a Mestiza Professional Identity




Silva, Teresa Ann

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Minimal research exists about the unique lived experiences of the Latina principal and the personal experiences that have informed her professional identity formation. This qualitative study aimed to explore the lived experiences of Latina principals in South Texas and the personal experiences that have influenced their professional identity formation. Additionally, the study aimed to contribute to the limited body of research related to the development of their professional identity using testimonio to center the voices of Latina principals. Investigating testimonios of Latina principals provides insight into their personal attributes and the environmental conditions that motivate and retain female leaders of color.

The research questions and methodology were grounded in the theoretical framework of Chicana Feminist Epistemology. Testimonios were collected through pláticas as the data collection tool. The data analysis drew three primary themes related to Latina principal identity formation including: a) Latina principals attribute family, cultural values, and mothering experiences as early influences that have positively impacted their personal identity development; b) Latina principals have unique and shared experiences related to adversity in their early schooling experiences and resistance; and c) Latina principals are creating spaces for their unique personal identity and experiences to inform their principal identity formation and leadership styles. The conceptual model titled Mestiza Principal Identity Formation is a symbolic representation of the construction of professional identity grounded in mothering practices, work ethic, and mestiza ethic of care.


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The full text of this item is not available at this time because the author has placed this item under an embargo until December 12, 2024.


Chicana Feminist Epistemology, Latina principal, leadership, mestiza identity, plática, testimonio



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies