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From the abstract to the concrete: methodological turns in the exploration...

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Francis Close Hall

FC HC205

Cheltenham

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My research uses Janes Loevinger’s Adult Ego Development framework (Hy and Loevinger 1998) as a model of sense-making to explore school leadership practice. The essential question of my work asks "how do individuals of different adult developmental stages interact with the complex environment of a school, rich in “wicked” (Churchman 1967) or “swampy” (Leithwood, Begley and Cousins 1992) problems?".

Adult developmental stages are an abstract conceptualisation of mental life–they represent the ways which people make sense of situations, those around them and their own internal world. In this talk, I will explore the methodology I have developed for converting these abstract developmental stages into accounts of how individuals at each given stage think, feel ,behave and interact in relation to “swampy” or “wicked” problems.

In particular, will focus on

  • How and why I have used a combination of interviews and written tasks to illuminate participants at each stage
  • The novel method I engineered in order to develop the written task
  • How and why I have used the head teacher and those around them to gain a full picture of the head teachers leadership practice.


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Francis Close Hall

FC HC205

Cheltenham

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