A principal at work : a story of leadership for building sustainable capacity of a school

Sands, Gwendolyn Ella (2000) A principal at work : a story of leadership for building sustainable capacity of a school. Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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Abstract

This study explores through a lifestream narrative how the life experiences of a female primary school principal are organised as practical knowledge, and are used to inform action that is directed towards creating a sustainable school culture. An alternative model of school leadership is presented which describes the thinking and activity of a leader as a process. The process demonstrates how a leader's practical knowledge is dynamic, broadly based in experiential life, and open to change. As such, it is described as a model of sustainable leadership-in-process. The research questions at the heart of this study are: How does a leader construct and organize knowledge in the enactment of the principal ship to deal with the dilemmas and opportunities that arise everyday in school life? And: What does this particular way of organising knowledge look like in the effort to build a sustainable school community? The sustainable leadership-in-process thesis encapsulates new ways of leading primary schools through the principalship. These new ways are described as developing and maintaining the following dimensions of leadership: quality relationships, a collective (shared vision), collaboration and partnerships, and high achieving learning environments. Such dimensions are enacted by the principal through the activities of conversations, performance development, research and data-driven action, promoting innovation, and anticipating and predicting the future. Sustainable leadership-in-process is shared, dynamic, visible and transparent and is conducted through the processes of positioning, defining, organising, experimenting and evaluating in a continuous and iterative way. A rich understanding of the specificity of the life of a female primary school principal was achieved using story telling, story listening and story creation in a collaborative relationship between the researcher and the researched participant. as a means of educational theorising. Analysis and interpretation were undertaken as a recursive process in which the immediate interpretations were shared with the researched participant. The view of theorising adopted in this research is that of theory as hermeneutic; that is, theory is generated out of the stories of experiential life, rather than discovered in the stories.

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ID Code: 36622
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Supervisor: Limerick, Brigid & Halliwell, Gail L.
Additional Information: Presented to the School of Professional Studies, Queensland University of Technology.
Keywords: Primary school principals Queensland, Women school principals Queensland, Educational leadership Queensland, thesis, doctoral
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Gwendolyn Ella Sands
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:05
Last Modified: 25 May 2016 04:06

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