Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Philip Pendley
Dr. Martinrex Kedziora
Dr. Jonathan Greenberg
Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and describe the strategies implemented by African American elementary school principals in Riverside County, California to close the achievement gap that exists for African American students using the CASEL SEL core competencies: (a) self-management, (b) self-awareness, (c) social awareness, (d) relationship skills, and (e) responsible decision making.
Methodology: A qualitative research design was chosen for this phenomenological study. A phenomenological study was used to study the lived experiences of TK-6 African American Principals. This technique involves the use of interviews, “directed toward understanding their perspectives on their everyday lived experience with the phenomenon” (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010b, p. 356).
Findings: The findings made it difficult to segregate the individual components of the research questions and instead led to one overall conclusion and recommendation. Based on the findings that, from the perspective of African American principals, it is a combination of concrete organizational strategies and interpersonal strategies that combine to make an effective overall strategy when working with African American students, further research into programs that combine both elements is needed.
Conclusions: The findings of the study indicate that recommended strategies fall into two categories: Concrete organizational strategies such as goal setting, identifying problems and analyzing problems; and interpersonal strategies such as identifying emotions, perspective taking, and relationship building. From these findings it can be concluded that from the perspective of African American principals, it is a combination of concrete organizational strategies and interpersonal strategies that combine to make an effective overall strategy when working with African American students.
Recommendations: It is recommended that a study that identifies and describes the best approaches for implementing combined inter-personal and organizational training for students be conducted.
Broomfield, Lisa, "African American Elementary School Principals' Perspectives of the African American Student Achievement Gap" (2021). Dissertations. 404.