Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Early Childhood Education (Ed.D)



First Advisor

Dr. Corrie Davis

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Warner

Third Advisor

Dr. Debra Coffeey


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the culture of an urban Christ-centered day school. the participants in the study included five administrators, fourteen teachers, five staff members, two board members, two donors, six parents, twelve students, and three alumni. The data collection process included 49 semi-structured interviews, 20 participant observations, and seven documents that were analyzed. By using a critical ethnographic lens, this study was able to identify how Freedom Academy integrated a Christian worldview, used the ethic of care, and implemented culturally relevant pedagogy into the curriculum. By combining these characteristics, Freedom Academy demonstrated their commitment to the spiritual and academic growth of their students and families. This study will help educate policymakers, urban schools, teacher preparation programs, and school districts about the importance of integrating care ethics and culturally relevant pedagogy into the classroom.