Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Thomasina Hassler


Thomas Hoerr

Renee Racette

Robert Good


In schools today, teachers are part of a learning environment in which they are the teachers of their students, as well as students themselves. There are a plethora of traditional models for professional learning, however, professional learning is often disconnected from the realities of the classroom or lacks the elements necessary to lead to practical application. Being able to implement effective social justice aligned professional development is particularly critical in our current climate in which students of color are marginalized and are not receiving the same educational opportunity as their white peers. Through the use of autoethnography, the author shares her journey of identity development as a white female school leader seeking to become a transformational leader. The author analyzes her own experiences as well as current literature to draw conclusions about the critical components of effective social justice aligned professional learning. Through the reflection in the autoethnography and the resulting conclusions, it is the hope that other school leaders will be able to use this work as a lens through which to view their own work, as they too journey towards becoming transformational leaders.