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Corrupted Principles and the Challenges of Critically Reflective Leadership

Christine Cunningham

Corrupted Principles and the Challenges of Critically Reflective Leadership documents the author’s research as a K-12 principal in an elite American International School in Bolivia. During those years she kept a daily journal of her work that revealed exactly how the school fabricated college transcripts and passed failing students and examines why the school remained unaccountable for its corrupt actions.
Against a backdrop of national crisis when Bolivia’s indigenous majority struggled to gain executive political power and invoke inclusive and pluralistic education reforms, this book details how the school’s plutocratic processes helped to guarantee that its wealthy young graduates would retain their privileged place in society.
As the title suggests, Corrupted Principles and the Challenges of Critically Reflective Leadership reveals the author’s professional Dilemma to remain true to her education ideals while leading a corrupt school. How she resolved this ethical predicament is the crux of this study and illuminates the challenges and inspiration of doing Critically Reflective Leadership.


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CHAPTER 3 Critically Reflective Practice 45


CHAPTER 3 Critically Reflective Practice As we enter the twenty first century, there is confusion and misunderstanding about what constitutes ‘good’ teaching. Teachers are leading damaged lives as processes of economic rationalism, globalisation and managerialism intrudes into schools … This is where what we call ‘Critical Reflection’ is so important. Being clear about what it means to be a teacher living and working in the ambiguity, perplexity and contradiction of current times is an important starting point for the reclamation of teaching. Being clear about what is going on in your work and the forces operating to shape it and make it the way it is, is an important part of moving beyond the pa- ralysis of ‘being done to’ and see instead what alternatives might look like (Smyth et al., 1999a: 1Introduction). Introduction Remembering that “methodology literally means the study of method” (Garman, 1994: 8) in this chapter I will examine the attributes of the re- search method I refer to as Critically Reflective Practice and attempt to explain why I have chosen to use a method that is most identified with critical education theorists. I will also outline exactly how I came to de- cide upon Critically Reflective Practice by moving into an in-depth de- 46 scription of the data collection methods I used over a two year period of fieldwork in the Bolivian International School, Colegio Americano, as well as the journal and reflective writing techniques I used to think about the data I had collected from my...

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