Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

3-2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

First Supervisor

Julie M. McCann, Ph.D.

Second Supervisor

Catherine Beck, Ph.D.

Third Supervisor

Maggie Broderick, Ph.D.

Keywords

advocacy, education, educational leaders, leadership, social constructivism

Abstract

As the public education system becomes more diverse, voices of advocates who positively support students and optimize student outcomes are essential. This qualitative multicase case study focused on the perspectives of five educational leaders who advocated in a public school district in Texas. A brief overview of historic voices in education advocacy gave way to the advocacy-based voices heard from educators, school counselors, and principals. Answering the central research question of how educational leaders maintain their passion for advocacy while overcoming obstacles related to change, each participant shared the personal experiences that paved the way for a passion in advocacy. Interpreted through the lens of social constructivism theory and analyzed from data collected from one-on-one interviews and a focus group session, the study provided the following: characteristics that described how each participant self-identified as advocate, obstacles each encountered when initiating an advocacy effort, and strategies each used to overcome those obstacles. Additionally, study participants furnished reflections on whether their advocacy efforts had helped or hindered their leadership capabilities.

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