Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Early Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

King, James

Co-Major Professor

Williams, Nancy L.

Keywords

southeastern county, power, literacy, leadership, minority administrators

Abstract

This was a collective case study of African American elementary principals in a central Florida county. The study intended to discover through qualitative means, African American elementary principals perceptions of reading curriculum and instruction. More specifically, the study was concerned with discovering and presenting the attitudes, experiences,and beliefs of this specific population of leaders. The African American principal has the unique perception of one who has grown-up and been educated in the midst of the European American dominated system of education, thus making their perceptions of reading curriculum and instruction relevant to gaining additional knowledge in the area of literacy leadership. The findings of the study showed that principals prior experiences, whether personal or professional, influenced their perceptions of reading curriculum and instruction.

The principals in the study discussed their lives and how they valued reading from childhood into adulthood and how these experiences shaped their schools reading programs. The themes discovered from the study were FCAT, NCLB, county reading curriculum, usage of supplemental reading curriculum, reading as a means of communication, modeling, acquisition and application of knowledge, general concern for all children, childhood/adult avid readers, professional sharing, and the building of background knowledge. In addition to the themes discovered, the study had several implications that lead to an understanding of African American elementary principals perceptions of reading curriculum and instruction: culturally relevant leadership, reading is more than just reading, sociocultural perception of reading, collaboration, professional development, and systematic knowledge of reading curriculum and instruction.

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