Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


Gentrification is primarily viewed as neutral to school leadership and school culture (Freeman 2002; Nyden, Edlynn, & Davis 2006; Merriman 2007). Student displacement is seen as collateral damage for the betterment of the community.

Using qualitative research approach derived from the frameworks of Di Primio (1988), Colllins (2001), Fullan (2006), the researcher interviewed nine active principals in Cook County, Illinois to answer the following research questions:

What are principals' perceptions of neighborhood gentrification?

In what ways do principals perceive their school culture being affected by gentrification?

What strategies do principals implement in response to student changes in enrollment caused by gentrification?

In what ways do principals perceive their leadership styles being affected by gentrification?

What opportunities for improving instructional environment for students do principals believe that gentrification brings to their schools?

This study showed that the majority of participants relied heavily on strategic hiring and talent acquisition to deal with the rise of diversity brought upon by both internal gentrification and displaced students from Chicago Public schools. The study also raised the awareness that demography matters and that the phenomenon of gentrification is morphing into a new manifestation that may not be neutral to school leadership and school culture. Hence the definition of gentrification may also need further intellectual amendment(s). The study concludes that the principals who focus on getting the right people on the bus and developing a Hedgehog concept produce the greater good.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.