Details of Thesis

Title Leadership in a Lutheran School: an Exploration of principal and school pastor worldviews and their potential impact on the transformation of the school learning community
Author Bartel, Kenneth Cyril
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2004
Abstract This ethnomethodological study focuses on the worldviews of Lutheran school principals and pastors. Essentially, these leaders in a Lutheran school provide direction and vision for the school learning community. The degree to which their worldviews coalesce will naturally result in positive or negative influences on the whole school community. These leaders within the Lutheran school can be seen as a hub for all kinds of learning experiences and interaction in the context of vital Christian communities in mission outreach and quality education. Any dissonance of worldview has potential for impact on school processes and relationships.  The Lutheran Church has defined the role of the pastor in the school and the difference from his role in a congregation (Lutheran Church of Australia, 2002).  Lutheran principals have a delegated authority from their school councils to be responsible for the complete oversight of the school’s direction, the observance of policies, and the assignment of tasks and duties of staff. The blurring of responsibility occurs over the pastor’s rightful responsibility in regards to a word and sacrament ministry. In a Lutheran school where the Gospel is to inform all learning, such tension can cloud school dynamics and transformation.  The Lutheran church policy, Relative responsibilities of pastor and principal within the Lutheran school, identifies three critical areas of required mutual respect for the Principal and School Pastor: theological, professional and personal (Lutheran Church of Australia, 2001, p. 3). Thus, the ‘worldview’ dimensions considered in this research centre around the theological, the educational and the interpersonal domains. The school transformation themes of lifelong learning, postmodernism and curriculum, school organization and change, and school community relationships are used to challenge worldview dimensions of Principals and School Pastors through a series of online ‘stories’, or scenarios, backed by personal interviews and a document study. The identification of school leadership tension points brings about recommendations for action.
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