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ERIC Number: ED542252
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1324-9320
Aspirations of a Leader: A Biographical History through a Narrative Lens
Peeler, Eleanor
Australian Association for Research in Education (NJ1), Paper presented at the Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference (AARE-APERA 2012) World Education Research Association (WERA) Focal Meeting (Sydney, New South Wales, Dec 2-6, 2012)
Biography is often construed as life story, life history or memoir. The author who narrates the life of another the biographer may skim the surface to relate the events that occurred during the subject's life or dig deeply to explore the social and political issues that shaped her/his development. The subject of this biography is a man who grasped opportunity, had vision to lead and courage to implement change. Parallelling the biographical story is one that records an unfolding history of education in Victoria. As it follows the subject's life it reviews the evolution of secondary schooling, the impact of depression and war and the post war decades of growth. Correspondingly it appraises the lives of others whose leadership roles were significant in Victoria's educational growth. As the biographer, my attempt to anchor the story in the lived experience of another took me into the subject's world. His narratives helped me delve into his past to understand the society in which he grew, and influences that shaped his philosophies of teaching, learning and leadership. Stepping into the life of another I witnessed the vision a leader requires, the skill to implement change and the thrill of success. I also observed the emotional stress of leadership and the subject's strategies to cope. The subject whose leadership styles are reviewed rose through the ranks of the educational hierarchy to take on a significant leadership role. This paper introduces the biographical subject and considers the nature of biography and narrative as tools used in this research. It attempts to define educational leadership as gleaned from narrative interviews and ponders how the subject and others enacted their leadership roles.
Australian Association for Research in Education. AARE Secretariat, One Geils Court, Deakin ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-2-6285-8388; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
Identifiers - Location: Australia