An Examination of Private K–12 School Boards Around Issues of Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Culturally Responsive Practices


  • Shirley-Ann Thomas Graduate Student


systems theory, systems thinking, curriculum and pedagogy, culturally responsive practices, school boards, private K–12 schools, coherence, incoherence, leverage points.


This document-based, mixed methods research study draws from the theoretical lens of systems theory. Six local private K–12 school boards associated with a wider religiously affiliated school system should function coherently in design and practice. In most cases, they do, but incoherence exists in the area of board training. This study’s findings may be important leverage points that indicate where improvements can be made within this otherwise well-designed system of schools. This research looked at data from board documents, semi-structured interviews, and survey questionnaires. The study sheds light on the functions of school boards within select local private K–12 school systems on North America’s East Coast, where there is sparse research about the way these uniquely constituted boards function within their local school systems, specifically around issues of curriculum, pedagogy, and culturally responsive practices.