Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

C. Michael Robinson, Ed.D.


The descriptive phenomenological design of this study explores the phenomenon of addressing implicit bias through professional learning structures. The study examines the lived experiences of educational leaders through their reflections of the experiences and how they make sense of the experiences. Participants were included with the following criteria: a) professionals with district level leadership or school building leadership in New York State public schools and b) participation in addressing implicit bias through a formal program, curriculum, initiative, or informal structure. Focus group and semistructured interviews were conducted and the data collection tools were field tested. Data was transcribed, coded, and analyzed using thematic analysis. A system of member checking was implemented with semi-structured transcripts. Findings support school building and district level leaders in addressing implicit bias through professional practice and development within a professional learning community. Four categories emerged and were further expanded into 11 themes including: (a) responsibility and commitment, (b) safety and trust, (c) leadership support and approach, (d) readiness versus urgency, (e) staying on the path, (f) community as strength, (g) multitiered, (h) key role (s) and student voice, (i) are we there yet?, (j) modeling and dialogue, and (k) action and entry points.

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Education Commons