Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Norman Weston


The purpose of this research was to gain a better understanding of the issues and challenges biracial children and their parents face as they navigate through the U.S. K–12 school system while developing a firm sense of self and racial identity. This issue is important because of the growing number of biracial children in the U.S. today. “Among American children, the multiracial population has increased almost 50 percent, to 4.2 million, since 2000, making it the fastest growing youth group in the country” (Saulny, 2011, p. A3). Three couples, one single father, and one mother were interviewed about their experiences raising biracial children. Each child had one African American parent and the other White. The primary research question was: What can we learn about the school experience of biracial children as seen through the eyes of their parents? Four themes emerged from the parent interview data: (a) at times, a disconnect between home and school cultures needs to be bridged; (b) the value of exposing their children to different cultures and groups of people; (c) the need to prepare their children for racism; and (d) the imperative of having open and honest discussions with their children about race and racism. Implications of this study address biracial child and adolescent identity development, parents and families, and teachers and teaching practice.