Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Administration and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Susan Korach, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Hava Gordon, Ph.D.


Black women principals, Gender, Race, Turnaround leadership, Turnaround schools


This narrative study focuses on African American female principals' perceptions of the influence of gender and race on their roles as principals of turnaround schools. The work lives of the participants were situated in turnaround schools, schools receiving federal money to provide intensive interventions and leadership development support to break the cycle of chronic academic failure. Data included one-on-one interviews with the participants and a reflective journal. The basis for the data analysis was a three-dimensional space approach (that included the components of interaction, continuity, and situation or place). Black feminist standpoint theory (BFST), a revision of the earlier Black feminist thought (BFT), informed the analysis of data. The questions guiding this research study were: How do African American female principals of turnaround schools perceive the influence of race and gender on their leadership experience? and How do African American female principals believe the leadership experience as a turnaround school principal differed from their leadership experience as a principal of a non-turnaround school?

Comparing their work to that of non-turnaround principals, all three principals described their work as turnaround principals as being more transparent, and requiring more documentation and the management of work and systems mandated by the Federal Government to continue to receive the funds from the School Improvement Grants. The themes that emerged from the study included instructional leadership expertise, educational and administrative expertise, accountability through data, transparency, family, and the church.

This research study revealed that although two of the women did not explicitly state that race and gender mattered to their professional experiences, their stories and actions provided a different narrative. Black feminist standpoint theory (BFST) resonated throughout their narratives; hence, race and gender do matter. The literature on turnaround leaders is not disaggregated by gender or race to reflect the lived experiences of women or people of color. The narratives within this study illuminate Black feminist turnaround leadership competencies.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Vickie Pease Collins

File size

137 p.

File format





Education, Educational leadership, Education policy