Personal Narratives From Latinas on Their Journey to Educational Leadership Positions: A Mujerista Perspective
AuthorBarajas, Monica A.
Committee ChairTaylor, John L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study examines how Latina school leaders' narratives of experiences lead to understanding the prevailing underrepresentation problem of Latinas in educational administration ranks in Arizona. The analyses of two principals and two superintendents' Latina/womanist narratives of lived experiences are interpreted and reflected in themes of aspirations, support systems, and barriers encountered in preparation for and performance of leadership duties. The study was conducted over a one-year period in urban and rural K-12 school settings. A mujerista perspective complemented a qualitative narrative-inquiry approach. Narrative findings divulged the poise displayed and conflicts experienced by participants in leading schools and staff; the confidence in influencing students' learning opportunities; and insight on ways of understanding Latina leaders challenges and contributions. Most important, interpretation of findings showed how culture, gender, race, and class shaped knowledge, power, and relationships that intersected in leadership practices. The sharing of capabilities as school administrators of the Latinas profiled herein disclosed and validated their diverse knowledge and experiences as advocates to meet the needs of all children, schools, and communities. Salient findings from the mujerista perspective of Latinas' professional experiences suggest means of achieving change and recommendations for future research to improve recruitment, professional development, mentoring, promotion, and retention in order to value Latinas' contributions and strengthen the leadership workforce in Arizona. With increases in demographic diversity foreshadowing the future challenges of education, participants emphasized the important contributions Latina leaders make as principals and superintendents in K-12 schools.
Degree ProgramGraduate College