Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

Guy Banicki


This study explored how principals who have experienced success in working with underrepresented students in STEM have challenged inequitable practices and transformed the culture of their schools so that all students can thrive. A purposeful sampling strategy was used to identify four principals who served as the cases for the study. The research revealed that culturally responsive school leadership (CRSL) behaviors and practices were regularly used by the principals to provide a STEM program that was responsive to the needs of underrepresented students. The principals in the study formed a critical consciousness by engaging in self-reflection about their leadership practices and displaying courageous leadership when confronted by attitudes, behaviors, and mandates that compromised the ability of their schools to provide high quality STEM instruction for all students. The principals engaged marginalized students by fostering positive relationships with students, providing students with voice, maintaining high expectations for all students, and securing a culturally responsive curriculum. The principals empowered community involvement in their schools by developing strategic partnerships, enlisting STEM role models and mentors for minoritized students, and fostering meaningful relationships with parents and community members. The principals developed a culturally responsive teaching staff in their schools by hiring for mission, leveraging professional development, encouraging teachers to reflect on their attitudes and practices, and promoting an equitable and inclusive school environment. The findings from this study suggest that culturally responsive school leadership (CRSL) is efficacious for increasing the interest, persistence, and success of students who have been minoritized in STEM.


Imported from Sanderson_ilstu_0092E_12264.pdf


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