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Perils and Promises of the Principalship: Novice African American Female Principals in Urban Schools

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Abstract:

The leadership required in schools today is not the leadership of yesterday that can respond to the rapid demographic change in American society. Educational leaders in the 21st century confront new challenges and paradigms in the principalship and their experiences provide insight on how the field of educational administration can encourage, support and prepare school leaders. In urban school settings, African American females' lived leadership experience in the 21st century can facilitate a new look at the principles of leadership in education (Alston, 2005). As Bloom and Erlandson (2003) assert, working as a principal in any large urban school today can be a difficult and dangerous assignment. Yet, many African American female principals embrace the challenge and pursue urban school settings because of their strong beliefs and commitment to make a difference for marginalized children. Often, African American leaders make sacrifices, and risk their jobs and reputation to do what they believe to be right (Jean-Marie, 2008; Normore & Jean-Marie, 2007; Lyman, Ashby & Tripses, 2005). Yet in their roles, they also have to contend with “gendered racism” (Ested, 1991), the double jeopardy of being black and female.
In particular, novice African American female principals not only have to deal with internal and external pressures to effectively lead in high challenged schools, they also have to navigate through the scrutiny they often encounter (Boris-Schacter & Lager, 2006; Jean-Marie, 2006, Jean-Marie & Martinez, 2007; Shakeshaft, 1993).
Through an Afrocentric epistemological framework (Collins, 2000), this case study illuminates the experiences of two novice African American female principals in a large urban district leading from contemporary understanding of leadership while navigating cultural and structural barriers to their leadership. The two female principals are highly regarded by district leaders and were appointed principals in high challenged schools because of their effectiveness as classroom teachers and principal interns. An important common attribute of the two principals is that they were born, raised and live in the neighboring community of their schools. Listening to the voices of novice African American female principals give insights on newer understanding of leadership to contribute and document how leadership is being transformed or reconceptualized.
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Name: UCEA Annual Convention
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http://www.ucea.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p377034_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Jean-Marie, Gaetane. "Perils and Promises of the Principalship: Novice African American Female Principals in Urban Schools" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California, <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p377034_index.html>

APA Citation:

Jean-Marie, G. "Perils and Promises of the Principalship: Novice African American Female Principals in Urban Schools" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the UCEA Annual Convention, Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p377034_index.html

Publication Type: Symposium Paper
Abstract: The leadership required in schools today is not the leadership of yesterday that can respond to the rapid demographic change in American society. Educational leaders in the 21st century confront new challenges and paradigms in the principalship and their experiences provide insight on how the field of educational administration can encourage, support and prepare school leaders. In urban school settings, African American females' lived leadership experience in the 21st century can facilitate a new look at the principles of leadership in education (Alston, 2005). As Bloom and Erlandson (2003) assert, working as a principal in any large urban school today can be a difficult and dangerous assignment. Yet, many African American female principals embrace the challenge and pursue urban school settings because of their strong beliefs and commitment to make a difference for marginalized children. Often, African American leaders make sacrifices, and risk their jobs and reputation to do what they believe to be right (Jean-Marie, 2008; Normore & Jean-Marie, 2007; Lyman, Ashby & Tripses, 2005). Yet in their roles, they also have to contend with “gendered racism” (Ested, 1991), the double jeopardy of being black and female.
In particular, novice African American female principals not only have to deal with internal and external pressures to effectively lead in high challenged schools, they also have to navigate through the scrutiny they often encounter (Boris-Schacter & Lager, 2006; Jean-Marie, 2006, Jean-Marie & Martinez, 2007; Shakeshaft, 1993).
Through an Afrocentric epistemological framework (Collins, 2000), this case study illuminates the experiences of two novice African American female principals in a large urban district leading from contemporary understanding of leadership while navigating cultural and structural barriers to their leadership. The two female principals are highly regarded by district leaders and were appointed principals in high challenged schools because of their effectiveness as classroom teachers and principal interns. An important common attribute of the two principals is that they were born, raised and live in the neighboring community of their schools. Listening to the voices of novice African American female principals give insights on newer understanding of leadership to contribute and document how leadership is being transformed or reconceptualized.


Similar Titles:
Ideological Contestation In Urban Spaces: A Review of the Leadership Practices of African American High School Principals During Pre-Brown That Inform Contemporary Urban Leadership Preparation Programs

African American Women Principals: Heeding the Call to Serve as Conduits for Transforming Urban School Communities

Three Frames of African American Leadership: An Analysis of Three African American Female Principals


 
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