Through the lens of the rural lifeworld: a phenomenological investigation of the rural school principalship

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Thesis type
((Thesis)/(Dissertation)) Ed.D.
Date created
With a total of 97,400 students in British Columbia’s public education system attending rural schools in the 2010/11 school year, it is worthwhile to examine the role of school principals in these schools. This study focuses on the opportunities and challenges of the principalship in British Columbia’s rural schools. This study explores the lifeworld of rural school principals through a series of phenomenological interviews. Several themes emerged through this process, including the significant inter-relatedness of the rural school with the community, increasing role-multiplicity, sense of isolation and difficulty accessing sufficient resources, the importance of place and the intensity of the relationships that develop among the principals, colleagues, and community members. The participants in this study spoke of the challenges, joys and opportunities related to these themes. The findings of this research are very consistent with those of the limited literature available regarding the rural principalship is very consistent with the findings of this research. Despite the wide diversity of rural settings there are consistent themes that suggest possible directions for policy involving connecting rural principals with meaningful professional development opportunities, the development and practice of phronesis in balancing the lifeworlds of rural communities with the systemsworld and reconsideration of the funding of rural schools at a government or school board level.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: McClaren, Milt
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etd7434_JMorrow.pdf 1.56 MB