A Stone Sings in the Stream: Sounding Timbral Lines in Principaling is an interpretive inquiry that offers possibilities for principaling in radically different ways. The study highlights "principaling" as an ontological, phenomenologically-attuned practice—the everydayness of taking care, in school and beyond. The work invites readers to attune to the many, small pedagogical moments that arise amidst the sedimented practices and lingering industrial norms of schooling and ask what these arrivals offer, conceal, and require of us. A key focus of this research is cultivating an ability to interpret our living circumstances, inheritances and occluded histories, with an understanding of the world as already interpreted, already in play. Pedagogical narratives in the form of children's stories trouble principal tropes, myths and grand gestures. In response, the author considers yielding in principaling as giving way, giving something of ourselves. The study conceptualizes the sounding of "timbral lines" of interpretation which offer a methodological pulse to the work. The timbral lines include a hermeneutical text, an aural landscape of recorded soundings, and a set of (topo)graphic images. The sounds of the text carry much of the meaning and nuance of the study, while the interplay of the three timbral lines offer expressions of the research beyond the written word. Japanese taiko drumming beats punctuate the text. Attending and listening to ma – the Japanese concept of intervals – becomes the "way" of this study, opening spaces of pedagogical possibility. As a scholar and practitioner, the author offers a counterpoint to conventional practices and role as perceived and enacted. She invites educational leaders to deepen their understandings of how the whole educational project can continue ethically, with compassion, mutuality, and love, and in doing so, profoundly shift the ways we live, listen, and lead.
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Thesis advisor: Fels, Lynn
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