Rewriting History: A poetic approach to the moral transformation of school leadership practice

Year: 2004

Author: Pereira, Les, Pereira, Christa, Taylor, Peter

Type of paper: Refereed paper

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 post structuralist 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.