Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Gyant, LaVerne, 1950-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Adult education; Educational leadership; Higher education; School boards--Case studies; Social justice--Case studies; Social classes--Education (Elementary)--Administration--Case studies; Ethnic groups--Education (Elementary)--Administration--Case studies; Race relations in school management--Case studies


The purpose of this study was to gain insight into how school boards learn their roles when dealing with issues of race and class. This study explored how school board members learned, how school board members were socialized to learn their roles, the various contexts that shaped their learning and decision making, the role that race and class played in shaping their racialized lived experiences, and how their racialized lived experiences impacted their decision making.;A qualitative case study analysis was used for this study. This study was conducted on an urban elementary school district located in the Midwest. Four Black school board members were interviewed about their role as school board members, how they learned their role, and how decision making occurred within the district. Data collection consisted of observations, interviews and a review of archival documents (e.g. school board minutes and school board policies). Five major findings emerged in the research study.;First, critical race theory is a viable tool for analyzing inequalities and inequity within school districts. Second, race and racism continues to exist within macro-level policies and micro-level practices which serve to set the tone for the work of school boards. Third, these school board members learned across various methodologies and contexts. Fourth, these school board members were socialized within various contexts that serve to guide their decision-making. Fifth, decisions made within micro-level practices allowed these school board members to advance and achieve racial equality through a social justice agenda.


Advisors: LaVerne Gyant.||Committee members: Lisa Baumgartner; Andrea Evans; Joseph Flynn.


279 pages




Northern Illinois University

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