Search:
Computing and Library Services - delivering an inspiring information environment

The spiritual dimension in the personal and professional lives of primary headteachers

Howarth, Stephen (2011) The spiritual dimension in the personal and professional lives of primary headteachers. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

[img]
Preview
PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (996kB) | Preview

    Abstract

    The research study investigates the spiritual dimension in the personal and professional lives of primary headteachers. The term ‘spiritual’ is interpreted widely to include its religious and nonreligious forms and to leave open the possibility of a variety of readings.

    The two research questions that give focus to the study are:

    1. What is the nature of the spiritual dimension in the personal and professional lives of primary headteachers?

    2. Is there a discernible connection between such a spiritual dimension and headteachers’ work in primary schools?

    Data were gathered through biographically-focussed case studies of six primary phase headteachers leading faith and community schools in England. Data-gathering procedures included biographical interviews, observations and scrutiny of documentation.

    The research study identifies three descriptive characteristics of the spiritual dimension:

    1. that it is refracted through a range of relationships, which for some headteachers may include a relationship with the divine;

    2. that it is given expression through headteachers’ dispositions and attitudes, perhaps informed by a consciousness of the divine or deep sense of human interconnectedness; and

    3. that these dispositions and attitudes are fluid and layered, holding within them the potential for the profundity and intensification that distinguishes the term from the moral, personal or social aspects of primary headteachers’ lives, though they are related.

    The spiritual dimension, in this context, is associated with personal being and becoming, rather than the exercise of professional skills and know-how. What may be seen as spiritual activities, such as prayer or deep reflection on questions of purpose and meaning in life, seem to bring not just resilience or resolve to primary headteachers, but also affirmation of their work, particularly their care for their schools’ communities.

    The research study’s findings add to the growing understanding of the spiritual dimension of school leadership and offer a biographical contextualisation that has had more limited attention in studies of spirituality and headship. They appear to normalise the place of the spiritual in heads’ professional work and therefore to legitimise the language of the spirit in the discourse of school leadership.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
    L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
    Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
    Depositing User: Carol Doyle
    Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2011 16:45
    Last Modified: 24 Nov 2011 16:45
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/12003

    Document Downloads

    Downloader Countries

    More statistics for this item...

    Item control for Repository Staff only:

    View Item

    University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH Copyright and Disclaimer All rights reserved ©