First Advisor

Will Parnell

Term of Graduation

Fall 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction





Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 255 pages)


Diverse families with preschool-aged children are at an enhanced risk of marginalization in the United States. Whether they are of a different race, level of ability, gender, or socioeconomic background, they need early childhood leaders and educators who can focus on caring for their children. In this exploratory qualitative study, I conducted five open-ended interviews with Head Start education managers--a similar position to a preschool Director or a K-12 Principal. The objective was to understand better how Head Start Education Managers attend to equity and inclusion via critical awareness, critical reflection, and critical action. I utilized the three-element construct of critical consciousness as the study’s theoretical framework. I wanted to know how critical awareness and critical reflection influence critical action. The study found that education managers attend to equity and inclusion via critical awareness, reflection, and action on behalf of their children and families' general and immediate needs. The study also revealed that education managers have an integral role in Head Start that allows them to apply critical awareness, reflection, and action to practices, policies, and systems. However, they could use some professional development to establish, expand, and evolve their abilities to do so. I concluded with some policy approaches and a new graphic model for education managers to visualize their role concerning critical awareness, reflection, and action to adjust practices, policies, and systems.


© 2022 Christopher Pearce Agudelo

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