Date of Award

Spring 6-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Horace Hall

Second Advisor

Thomas Noel

Third Advisor

Kennedi Strickland-Dixon


This research aims to illuminate the Critical Influence Black educators from an alternative education certifying program (which will be labeled with the fictional name Lead On throughout this research) through their personal narratives on the successes, struggles, and benefits of teaching Black students. Using CRT methodology (tenant 1 & 2: counter-storytelling and the permanence of racism) to hear and analyze the narratives of Black educators experience around working to have a Critical Influence on their students. Taking an Emic approach, three in-depth story-telling sessions were conducted for each participant. All participants are alum of the alternative certifying education program and have continued working in education beyond their 2-year commitment (ranging 4-11 years of experience). Findings reveal how participants’ personal educational and school environment has supported their development as critical influencers in the classrooms while they strive to disrupt inequitable systems within education. Findings also show that their program experiences had a gap in their preparation to internalize how their racial identity will continue to be developed while teaching in the classroom. Conclusions illuminate the need for critical racial identity work to occur before entering and during the teaching process to ensure Black educators are equipped to live out their critical influence and remain in education. Recommendations encourage development of racial identity development for Black teachers within the program, aligned racial identity awareness selection questions, and the implementation of ongoing affinity groups for Black educators. Further research is suggested around the social-emotional experience and development for Black educators that participate in alternative certifying programs.