Upon the King : myth and meaning in the principalship

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David B. Temple (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
H. Svi Shapiro

Abstract: "The night before the historical battle of Agincourt, in Shakespeare's retelling of the events, King Henry dons a cloak and walks among his troops, conversing with them frankly, if in secret, about the responsibilities of the leader and the led. Enough, but not all, of Henry's questions are answered, sufficient that he can rally his badly out-numbered and out-trained troops to one of the greatest military victories of all time. This dissertation will, in a sense, serve as a kind of early-morning walk of my own among the competing ideas and values that have created my crisis of conscience and led me along the path to this, perhaps my decisive battle to remain in the principalship. The decision to structure my dissertation into "acts" rather than "chapters" was not arrived at easily or with a bend toward melodrama. As the years have worn on I have come to view my own existence, both personally and professionally, as a kind of off-Broadway play and it seems appropriate that I divide its progression accordingly. In order to understand how I arrived at this philosophical frontier in my personal and professional lives, it is important for the reader to know key people and paradigms that have shaped my thinking. Act One will therefore consist of autobiographical reminiscing that will trace my route to the principalship and the Faustian bargain that has been required to keep me there. I will specifically identify the hypocrisy, doubt, and angst that I intend to grapple with in this dissertation. Educational thinkers over the years have launched their own expeditions into the darkness that this dissertation proposes to illuminate. In Act Two I will review some of the current literature in the area of educational reform - focusing on the forces that shape American education with an eye toward the social and spiritual implications of current policy both now and in the future. This is crucial if I am to achieve this dissertation's stated purpose of clarifying for myself and the reader the competing paradigms that tear at my soul, and formulating an educational leadership philosophy that will withstand such assaults. In Act Three we will be off to the theater for a one-act play that gives voices to competing views of educational leadership. Just as King Henry sought clarification of his own vision for leadership by engaging different characters in conversation around a camp fire, the play will assemble disparate approaches to leadership styles and contribute to the quest in this dissertation to discover the sound of my own voice. To be true to my purpose of returning to the school house as an enlightened educational leader, I must bring back from my journey an archetype for the principalship that I can make peace with. In Act Four I will look at the "prophetic imagination," inspired by the writings of Walter Brueggemann, Abraham J. Heschel and David Purpel, as applied to school leadership and examine some possible paths for myself and others."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
historical battle, Agincourt, Shakespeare, King Henry
Educational leadership--United States--Philosophy
School management and organization--United States--Philosophy

Email this document to