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.

[img] Digitised Thesis (PDF 15MB)
Administrators only

Available via Document Delivery only – contact your library to place a request
If you are the author of this thesis, please contact eprints@qut.edu.au


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.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

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

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page