Dissertation Defense Announcement

College of Education announces the Final Dissertation Defense of

Sheron Davenport

for the Degree of Doctor of Education

March 28, 2019 at 10:00 AM in Ball Hall, Room 209 

Advisor: Steven L. Nelson

Constructing Black Mothers as Educational Leaders: A Source of Knowledge and Theory

ABSTRACT: This dissertation follows a three article format. The articles represent a building upon research with the first article exploring the history of Black women leadership in the U.S. and the need to incorporate the leadership traits of Black mothers in educational leadership. The second article, through critical phenomenological inquiry, allows current college students from urban k-12 institutions to construct their mothers as educational leaders and identify traits that formal educational leaders should adopt. The third article expounds upon the lived experiences of Black students and the critical care leadership necessary to ensure their academic success. Care in education and education leadership literature is ambiguous. Black women have long been pillars of care for the Black community. Despite a history of successful leadership, Black women continue to be underrepresented in educational literature, theory and research. The limited Black leadership narratives and lack of context relevant analysis has impacted the ability to improve schools for Black children in the United States. This dissertation explores how college students from urban k-12 schools construct their mothers as educational leaders and how those tools and skills that Black mothers provide, through critical race parenting, aid Black children to successfully navigate and thrive in the U.S. educational system and society in general. Utilizing the critical frameworks critical race theory, black feminist thought, womanism, and critical race methodology, this dissertation addresses issues of race and racism in the Unites States educational system and call upon the knowledge and experiences of Black students to inform leader preparation programs.