All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Grace Jepkembol

Advisory Committee Members

Tammy Delk

Lynn Kirkland

Jenna Lachenaye

Tondra Loder-Jackson

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


The purpose of this narrative case study was to explore the life experiences and contributions of Dr. Susie Weems Wheeler (1917- 2007), a pioneer African American early childhood educator and administrator during and after the Civil Rights Era. There is limited research on Dr. Wheeler’s life and other African American women who were pioneers in Early Childhood Education during the Civil Rights Era. This study is significant because it focused on the contributions of a pioneer who is missing from the available literature. Data was collected using interviews and review historical documents. The researcher implemented thematic analysis and restorying to analyze the data. The major findings of this study were divided into four themes about Dr. Wheeler that were generated during data analysis. The themes included: (1) community, (2) philanthropy, (3) advocacy, and (4) leadership and post-graduate studies. Implications of this study are (a) teacher preparation programs should include the study of the life of Dr. Susie Wheeler’s and her contributions to the early childhood curriculum, (b) include stories of Dr. Susie Wheeler and other marginalized populations to mainstream children’s literature, (c) families should provide their children with early childhood education opportunities.

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Education Commons



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