Date of Award


Degree Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)




A dissertation in the Isabelle Farrington College of Education and Human Development presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education.

Committee Chair

T. Lee Morgan, Ph.D.

2nd Reader

Kathleen Wallace, Ed.D.

3rd Reader

Kristin Rainville, Ed.D.


This Improvement Science Dissertation in Practice (ISDiP) qualitative research study aimed to investigate targeted interventions and resources designed to enhance educators' cultural awareness and competence, fostering the creation of identity-affirming learning environments for Black girls as a lever for reducing racial discipline disparities. Identity validation and the provision of inclusive learning environments are necessary elements for promoting academic success while positively impacting the needs of Black girls. The intersectionality of being both Black and female poses an educational challenge that is often misunderstood and overlooked, yet it deserves significant attention to improve outcomes for this student group. Without intervention, racially toxic learning environments persist, subjecting Black girls to exclusionary practices that diminish educational opportunities. This reduction in opportunity serves as a mechanism for academic underachievement and social disengagement. The structured eight-week asynchronous professional learning series aimed to enhance knowledge and awareness of the bias and discrimination faced by Black girls in both school and societal vi contexts. The goal was to improve the educational experiences of Black girls and reform the harsh disciplinary practices they often encounter. The professional learning experience encouraged participants to engage in critical self-reflective activities, fostering transformative growth in their approach to supporting Black girls in education. This study provides foundational ideas for potential research to develop professional learning components that challenge underlying assumptions and beliefs, facilitate deep critical self-reflections, develop intercultural sensitivity, and elicit transformational learning. The findings align with current research on reflection in learning, specifically highlighting how critical reflection can contribute to transformative learning.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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