Viewing Educational Leadership Through the Lens of Spirituality: How African American Females Cope
The spiritual voice of the African American female in Educational Leadership has been omitted from educational and theological literature. This study will be guided by the overarching theme of the research: viewing educational leadership through the lens of spirituality, specifically how African American females cope. For the purpose of this phenomenological study, data were collected via structured and unstructured interviews, audio recordings and observations. Throughout the surveys, focus groups, and the interviews, the spirituality of African American females in educational leadership was evident as a viable coping mechanism. In fact, the existence of spirituality seems to be a way of life as opposed to just being a means of surviving. Furthermore, it is the belief of the researcher that one cannot deny the belief that not only does spirituality make one a better leader, it is necessary to the survival of the African American female leader. Amongst the fifteen African American females in educational leadership interviewed, surveyed, or observed, faith and spirituality were the most valuable coping mechanism they possessed. Based on the data presented in and throughout this dissertation, there was a phenomenon amongst African American females to cope in educational leadership spirituality Specifically, this research and methodology was designed to transform the perceptions of the African American Female Leader, create social action by empowering leaders to lead in a more efficient way unique to their culture, and to minimize a gap in the literature. Viewing spirituality as a lens to lead triangulates African American females, educational leadership and spirituality thereby forging a new path in educational research.
Smith, Alison Dawn