Angela Kelly

Date of Submission

January 2008


This narrative autoethnography tells the story of a small rural community over a ten year period through the ethnographic eye. It is told within the context of a primary rural school and the community that supports it. It reflects the aspirations, the pain and the dreams of the community. Within the telling of stories, lies the question of what a leader needs to 'be' for the people (the concept of educational leadership). This 'being' for the people should certainly be part of the body of thought on educational leadership. The literature review examines concepts of educational leadership pertaining to aspects or issues of change, community, teaching and learning and the inner life of the Principal. These issues are explored within the framework of the school and its community. Combining literary and ethnographic techniques allows the creation of a story that intends to devise a concept of educational leadership created by and authentic to the community to which the leadership belongs. This narrative autoethnography provides the vehicle for the researcher to explore Principal / Leadership. It connects modern day educational theory to an understanding of lived experiences - the stories lived by the people in the research. A multi-perspective approach is applied to provide analytical interpretation and reflection of the lived experience documented. The findings of this research study suggest that Principals need to reflect on the lived experiences of the communities they are within in order to understand the path of leadership. The research strongly recognizes that the formation of meaningful, ethical relationships is a vital foundation for authentic leading in an education world that is constantly changing.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


205 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Faculty of Education