Shaping A New Professional Identity by Building A New Personal Concept of Leadership through Action Research

Dec. 20, 2007

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 15, Issue 4  December 2007, pages 519 - 543.

This study describes three action cycles I identified retrospectively and examines the processes I underwent through the lens of research literature dealing with leadership. I then provide a retrospective account of my reflections on my actions over a four-year period.

As the head of the Elementary School Department in a teacher education college, I tried to make informed decisions by documenting the process and collecting data from a variety of sources: transcripts of group discussions; unstructured interviews; a reflective journal; and excerpts from a triadic journal.

The findings are on three levels: on the personal level, I underwent internal transition both in my conception of my role and in my behavior, from being a 'top-down' manager to working collaboratively with colleagues by relinquishing overall control.

On the professional level, shaping a new professional identity revealed a significant shift in my perception of leadership: from a transactional model through a transformational model to a distributed leadership. I also recognized the power of action research in linking pragmatic issues and theoretical knowledge, as well as in binding together all the partners in the process.
These two levels were parallel to the departmental level, in which there was significant organizational change, from coping with fragmented elements to a holistic ecological overview of the system. Thus, it is clear to me today that in order to change teacher education I first had to transform myself.

Updated: Dec. 23, 2007


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