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Title: 'Home straits(?)' a school principal facing retirement : an auto-ethnography and ethnodrama
Author: Morton, James Neill
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 400X
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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As a school principal approaching retirement, I began to keep a journal in which I recorded the daily business in which I was absorbed. And, through review of and reflection on my entries, I tried to understand myself a little better. Critical incident methodology provided the tools by which I sought to process a morass of experiences. I identified two themes which provided insight into my role. One concerned School Leadership, the other was around the pastoral responses to students facing exclusion. I determined to present this material as an ethnodrama involving two actors. I entitled it, 'Home Straits?'. The pun was intended, the question mark invited investigation (I have been asked if the title was a typo): at the start of my EdD journey I believed that I was in the final phase of my career; metaphorically, I believed that I was in the home straight. In reviewing my journal entries I recognised that the metaphor aligning my experiences to the final stretch of a linear journey was inaccurate and inappropriate. I needed another conceit for my late career. A 'strait' is a narrow passage of water connecting two large areas of water. It is usually treacherous, a condition reflected in its metaphoric use in plural form to describe a situation characterised by trouble or difficulty. I had hoped that the play on words would draw attention to the tension between the two metaphors: one suggesting a gallop to the finish; the other, a struggle to stay afloat in choppy waters. But there is another tension played out: that caused by the search for form and voice as I seek to present the personal in a mode amenable to the wider engagement of a theatre audience as well as an academic one.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available