Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Transformational Teaching and Learning


A school's culture is heavily influenced by the development of relationships between students and faculty. This study explores 13 faculty member stories to investigate what is in the culture at a private Philadelphia religious based high school that builds or hinders relationships. To inform this research investigation, evidence was gathered through a three step process: administering a survey, conducting semi-structured interviews, and the co-construction of narrative reflections. Faculty data collected shared moments revealing an understanding of the importance of healthy relationship building as an aspect in culture growth through empowering voices, autonomy, support, genuine love for one another, traditions and events, feeling of family, and belonging upholding the mission values as the school that works. Through the framework lens of critical race theory and concepts of critical consciousness supported by literature based themes of trust, identity, and community, faculty experiences were analyzed. This process unpacks the impact of positionality, recognizing systemic power structures hindering the growth needed to support elements of school culture development. Faculty stories revealed the value of establishing positive relationships while discovering social justice issues such as the lack of faculty agency and need for more amongst stakeholders, a racial/ethnicity disproportion within faculty and leadership personnel, faculty of color inclusivity, faculty retention, and challenges of Covid-19. Analysis of findings leads to practices and research implications at the classroom, school, and organizational levels on importance of inclusion, support for faculty of color, promotion of community and relationship building, and empowerment of student and faculty voices in pedagogy and decision making.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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