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Ordinary Theologies

Religio-spirituality and the Leadership of Black Female Principals


Arnold Noelle Witherspoon

Through narrative analysis, Ordinary Theologies highlights the intersectionality of gender, race, and religio-spirituality. It examines the relationship of past and current religio-spiritual leadership understandings that contest the status quo in U.S. schools. The historicity and analysis of gender and race contributes to reconceptualizing educational and leadership by emphasizing the voices of Black female leaders, voices that provide alternative understandings of schooling, stressing the importance of gendered and raced voices in administration, and questioning formulaic models of leadership and the research that reifies them.
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The Author


Noelle Witherspoon Arnold, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Prior to that appointment, she taught elementary school, and served as an administrator at the district and state levels. Her research interests include religion and spirituality in education, leadership for social justice and advocacy, leadership socialization, womanist and feminist research methodologies, and the intersection of race and gender in educational leadership. Noelle’s most recent articles have appeared in the International Journal of Leadership in Education, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, The Journal of Educational Administration History, Equity and Excellence in Education, The Journal of Negro Education, Teachers College Record, and the Journal of Educational Administration.

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