Rewriting History: A poetic approach to the moral transformation of school leadership practice
Faculty of Regional Professional Studies
School of Regional Professional Studies
Galvanised by the triple crises of representation, legitimation and praxis, proponents of qualitative-interpretive research appear to be ‘searching for handholds’ within a self-realised and elusive poststructuralist environment. This paper identifies handholds inherent in the reactions of the first author, in his primary role as a school leader, as he attempts to resolve a moral issue involving a controversial teacher-student relationship. We illustrate the explorations of the first author as researcher into the interplay between theory, research and practice, whose nexus exists in the ‘space’ of his lived experience. In a mindful analysis of his interactions with others (school colleagues, students, administrators, other writers), the researcher’s rewriting of his own leadership history releases the transformational power of writing-for-inquiry. During this part-imaginary and reflexive process, the developing construct of phronesis is used as a referent for facilitating a major perspective-transformation in the researcher-as-school-leader. We conclude that critical and poetic forms of phronesis can offer a postmodern advancement to the concept of praxis in developing school-based moral leadership.