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ERIC Number: ED532923
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 266
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-7718-4
The Influence of Life Experiences on Educational Leadership Practice and Evolution of That Practice: An Autoethnography
Alwin, Lance
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
To address complexity and ongoing change in educational leadership, the literature suggests employing transformational and reflective practices. The literature calls for contextually detailed, longitudinal, varied forms of research that legitimize these leadership practices. As such, this autoethnography addresses these research questions: (1) What life experiences shaped how I conceptualized or practiced leadership? (2) What was the nature of my leadership practice, and how did that practice evolve over time? (3) What were the barriers to how I conceptualized and practiced leadership, especially as I tried to enact change? (4) How did I respond to these barriers and, (5) How were the ways did I conceptualized and practice leadership congruent with, or at odds with the conceptual framework of tempered radicalism, or how do these ways extend this framework? The study was framed by tempered radicalism. My study found my leadership and practice was shaped by family ethos, notions of difference, and experiences of learning. I found my leadership and practice themes changed over time from: (1) seeking control and technical knowledge; (2) being in control; (3) maintaining the status quo; (4) segregating myself from others; (5) and, speaking privileged talk. As it evolved, it changed and integrated with life purpose. Two external barriers to my leadership were: (a) other's expectations; and, (b) a community's inability to see and respond to inequities. Internal barriers were: (1) personal constraint; (2) uncertainty of purpose; (3) dividedness of self; and, (4) personal intensity. I responded to barriers in these ways: (1) increase my basis of support; (2) change communications practices and processes; (3) engage in avalanche of information campaigns; (4) enlarge my reconnaissance activities; (5) engage in improvisation; (6) invoke policies and procedures; (7) manipulate barriers; and, (8) dance with the devil. My findings were congruent with tempered radicalism; however, in the end I explore the outsider within leadership theory for considering my experiences. The study offers implications for administrator preparation, practice, and future research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A