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Surviving and thriving in independent school leadership : an oral history study of two enduring and successful school heads in Hawaiʻi independent schools

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Item Summary

Title: Surviving and thriving in independent school leadership : an oral history study of two enduring and successful school heads in Hawaiʻi independent schools
Authors: Gaudi, Robert David
Keywords: Mentor
Issue Date: Aug 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2014]
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to use narrative to document and examine the experiences of two successful, long-time heads of school who have remained at their same Hawaiʻi independent schools for a minimum of 20 years-Dr. Robert Peters of Hanahau'oli School and Dr. James K. Scott of Punahou School. The main guiding research questions were: (1) What were the memorable events in the leadership journey of Dr. Robert Peters and Dr. James K. Scott?; (2) What lessons can I and perhaps other school leaders learn from the stories of Dr. Robert Peters and Dr. James K. Scott?
This study followed a qualitative research design whereby in-depth oral history interviews were used to study Dr. Robert Peters and Dr. James K. Scott. The goal was to use narrative inquiry to richly describe their thoughts, memories, and stories in ways that not only inform and improve my practice but perhaps that of other school leaders in Hawaiʻi and abroad. The one aspect that perhaps most clearly distinguishes oral history from other forms of narrative research is that it is presented "in the words of the person telling the story" (Atkinson, 1998, p. 2) and thereby "preserves an individual's own words and perspectives in a particularly authentic way" (Etter-Lewis, 1993, p. xii). With this in mind, all of the data shared in this study is presented as first-person narrative entirely in the words of the participants.
The data analysis resulted in the identification of eight lessons that I found most edifying in my own practice and hope to be instructive for other current an aspiring heads of school. The major lessons learned included: (1) Acknowledge insecurities/self-doubt and ask for help; (2) Patiently persuade rather than publically push; (3) The head of school is chief storyteller--critical in fundraising; (4) Do not work in isolation-Communicate honestly, collaborate effectively, and think deeply about the whole system; (5) Stay stimulated by serving the broader community; (6) The head of school must learn to manage the board of trustees; (7) Mentors--Important to have someone believe in you; and (8) Finding a good match is important.
Description: D.Ed. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ed.D. - Professional Practice

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