Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Keith E. Howard, Ph.D., Chair

Second Advisor

Peter McLaren, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Whitney McIntyre Miller, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Stephen R. D. Glass, Ed.D.


There is substantial evidence that issues of race and racism and are common in U.S. public schools, especially those greatly impacted by poverty and racial segregation. Unfortunately, it is highly likely many of these occurrences either go unrecognized, unacknowledged, or are perpetrated unknowingly by White educators and administrators—many of whom are well-intentioned, but lack the critical lens necessary in challenging and dismantling them. For White people, the enculturating normativity of White racial dominance, maintained by the social conditioning of Whiteness, facilitates an environment of racial ignorance and insignificance, leaving most painfully oblivious to the damaging complexities of racism in contemporary American society. The purpose of this qualitative study is to illuminate the perceptions and experiences of selected White school leaders who have committed themselves to (a) antiracist school leadership identity development, and (b) the promotion of racially-just school cultures. Responses to semi-structured interview questions were coded, analyzed, and organized into themes to generate an educational leadership theory. Constructivist grounded theory (CGT) methodologies, critical race theory (CRT), critical whiteness studies (CWS), and critical pedagogy (CP) informed the data collection methods and theoretical foundations of this study. Findings revealed a need to reexamine and revise existing antiracist education psychology and pedagogy with an emphasis on cohesion and clarity of purpose. This study contributes new knowledge and insight into the struggle to successfully implement effective, sustainable antiracist school efforts capable of establishing and normalizing racial equity in public education.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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