Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca, EdD

Second Supervisor

Cheryl McGruder Holloway, EdD


This qualitative study examined the perspectives of school administrators in an urban setting that related to culturally responsive leadership. The study collected data from semi-structured interviews with eight school administrators. Using culturally proficient leadership theory, the study gathered data on leadership strategies, the nature of the culturally responsive training, and perceptions regarding such training.

Three key findings emerged: culturally responsive leaders in urban schools are intentional about being culturally responsive; training and support for leaders in urban schools is not systematic or automatic, urban school leaders seek out their own ways to gain skills and knowledge; and even if urban school leaders are intentional in their actions, the system is not designed to promote intentionality. The findings from this study led to recommendations for future research and applications for practice including: school leaders need to be intentional in their leadership behaviors and school district superintendents and school boards should require culturally proficient leadership training for all leaders.

The study can benefit school leaders, including principals, assistant principals, and superintendents who are implementing culturally responsive practices and need more information on how these practices relate to student connectedness and belonging in an urban school setting.

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