Dissertation Defense Announcement

 College of Education announces the Final Dissertation Defense of

Teresa Jenkins

 for the Degree of Doctor of Education
October 31, 2019 at 11:00 AM Ball Hall Room 209

Advisor: Derrick Robinson

Invisible in Plain Sight: The Lived Experiences of Black Female Graduates of P-12 Private Schools

ABSTRACT: " This qualitative study examined the lived experiences of twelve Black female graduates of P-12 private schools in this country to understand the nature and essence of their schooling experiences. In other words, this research aims to understand what happens to Black female students in private schools and what that experience means to them, either positively or negatively. The study, of twelve participants who identified as Black female graduates of P-12 private schools, looked at these experiences through a phenomenological study and composite narrative using a semi-structured interview format. The study was supported in the Black Girl Success Model, which was developed from a body of Critical Race Theory, Critical Feminist Theory, Critical School Leadership, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy; Afrocentric, and Positive Youth Development frameworks. The three research questions aimed to understand (a) What is the nature and essence of the schooling experience of Black female graduates of P-12 private schools, (b) How do Black female graduates of P-12 private school speak about their P-12 private school experience, (c) How do Black female graduates of P-12 private schools describe their experiences of being racialized and/or experiencing racism? The three major themes that emerged were: positive learning environment, confident student, and visible Black girl. Key findings from the study suggest that Black girls do indeed have a unique racialized private schooling experience that lacks a sense of connected-ness and belonging. Their key strategies for coping are resiliency and resistance. The data suggest that Black female students need specific support in the school community, a critically conscious school culture, a strong school-home connection, a diverse faculty, and a culturally responsive curriculum that reinforces their identity to ensure a positive learning experience. The findings from this study guided private schools on how to not only recruit students but also what they need to do to retain students, as well as, what they need to do to ensure they return as future parents or donors. "