Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1393-8463

Date of Award

5-14-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Yinying Wang, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Susan Ogletree, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gregory Middleton, Ph.D.

Abstract

Purpose: The sexuality education (sex education) curriculum in the United States has long been guided by morality. Even with the recent updates to sex education as a result of the #MeToo movement, the government primarily funds abstinence-focused curricula. This study examined educational leaders who are leading against the grain by including consent in their sex education curriculum while other leaders focus on the minimum state requirements.

Theoretical Framework: Grounded in transformational leadership theory, this study focused on educational leaders’ transformational leadership behaviors when implementing change in the curriculum. This qualitative study used narrative inquiry to examine three participants' lived experiences with the sex education curriculum in their school district.

Methods: In this quantitative study, three participants included (1) a district health and physical education coordinator, (2) a district principal, and (3) a former student of the school district who is currently in college shared their experiences with sexual consent implementation in the sex education curriculum. Each participant engaged in a thirty-minute initial contact, a one-hour in-depth interview, and document gathering. The district health coordinator participated in an additional one-hour interview. Data analysis included restorying, which is a retelling of participants’ stories of their experiences to highlight a broader significance.

Results: The shared stories of the participants provided data which revealed the participants’ experiences regarding sex education and their perceptions of leadership surrounding consent in the sex education curriculum. Using a narrative analysis, themes emerged that emphasized the importance of transformational leadership behaviors such as influence, motivation, stimulation, and consideration as well as the impact of curriculum leadership throughout the implementation process, such as monitoring, implementing, and improvement.

Implications: This study makes substantive contributions to the theory, practice, and policymaking impacting educational leadership by determining how existing policies effect curriculum development. Through a possession of certain leadership behaviors, educational leaders can find ways to successfully use the curriculum cycle when implementing consent in the sex education curriculum. There is limited empirical research examining leadership behaviors in conjunction with sex education curriculum.

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