Theses and Dissertations
An Autoethnographic Exploration of the Professional and the Person: A Life's Journey of a Hispanic Superintendent in South Texas
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Francisco Guajardo
Dr. Velma Menchaca
Dr. Karen Watt
Leadership effectiveness is often defined in terms of, a leader’s ability to motivate followers towards a collective goal, mission or vision (Knippenberg, Knippenberg, Cremer & Hogg, 2004). However, a leaders’ understanding of their own identity; how education, culture, upbringing, values and morals helped shape the self (Leary, & Tangney, 2002; Anzaldua, 2015; and Guajardo & Guajardo, 2017) and how the leader functions as a contributing member of the organization (Knippenberg & Hogg, 2003) is critically important.
Demographers have long held that by the year 2050, our nation will be increasingly more diverse and that there will be no racial or ethnic majority among the general population of the United States with Hispanics being one of the forces driving this demographic change (Murdock, 2004 and 2007; U.S. Census, 2010; America’s Voice, 2014). Gandara and Rumberger (2009) affirm that public schools in the United States have represented “the great equalizer” or the place where assimilation into the mainstream is inculcated regardless of the culture that students bring to school. This approach, however, is devoid of the benefits of validating the cultural capital and funds of knowledge that students already possess when they enroll in the public schools. As a result, most immigrant students who enter school as English Learners (EL) have low achievement and attainment (Gandara and Rumberger, 2009; Murdock, 2004 and 2007, America’s Voice, 2014). As the demographic landscape shifts, how our nation will manage the well documented disparities in education and economic indicators afflicting minorities including Hispanics, the fastest growing demographic in the nation, will continue to be a dilemma facing national leaders tasked with adopting policy solutions (Murdock, 2004 and 2007, America’s Voice, 2014).
Our ability to help all students succeed in a state that is currently educating a minority-majority necessitates educational leaders with the ability to achieve cultural synchronicity and demonstrate an awareness of the importance of reaching cultural congruence. A leader must also possess the ability to increase the social and cultural capital, and recognize the resistance that may arise from the pedagogies of the home (Yosso, 2005; and Bernal, 2007).
Salazar, Gonzalo, "An Autoethnographic Exploration of the Professional and the Person: A Life's Journey of a Hispanic Superintendent in South Texas" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 386.
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