Dissertation: Fawzia Keval

Cohort 3, published 2012


Moral Imperative as a Strategy for Transformational Leadership and Sustainability: An Autobiography


This analytic autoethnographic study highlights leadership practices of a principal in a high poverty school that has undergone transformation in the school culture over the course of nine years (2003-2012). The problem addressed by this study is that few low achieving schools have effectively undergone sustainable transformations; in addition, there is very little research on long-term sustainability practices in high poverty schools that have undergone transformations. The critical question here is: How does a principal transform an underperforming school in the era of accountability while keeping staff morale high? This longitudinal study consisted of test scores, attendance data, suspension data, a reflexive journal, meeting agendas, memos and a reflective analysis ----- all used to code the data on key leadership attributes. The significant and continuous improvement in student achievement over the course of nine years correspond with the change in leadership at the school site, thus leadership practices by the school principal warrants further analysis. Additionally, it highlights the concept of moral purpose as a key leadership position to build capacity and increase student achievement.

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