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ERIC Number: EJ814612
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Aug
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0620
Understanding Leadership in Education: Life Writing and Its Possibilities
English, Fenwick W.
Journal of Educational Administration and History, v38 n2 p141-154 Aug 2006
Biography and other forms of life writing were once considered vital sources of information on leadership. However, early in the establishment of the pursuit of a "science of leadership" in the first quarter of the last century, they were abandoned as too subjective and hence unreliable. Recently, however, as scholarship regarding leadership has shifted to understanding the intention and meaning of the actions of leaders in context, their value has been re-appraised. Twelve forms of life writing are described as possible sources of understanding the meaning of the decisions and actions of leaders. The major obstacle to the use of most forms of life writing in preparation programs for educational leaders is sociological theory, which effaces the human variable in organizational life in a quest for generalizability laws which are context-free, or in attempting to impose patterns of behaviors or standardized tasks which erase situational novelty. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures and 61 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A