School Administrators' Insight and Self-reflection: An exploration of the influence of expressive writing and the LuminaSpark© inventory on self-awareness
Devall-Martin, Lisa M.
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Research indicates that Ontario educators struggle to meet evolving and increasing professional demands; marking this generation of Ontario educators as emotionally exhausted and tethered to the job by attractive financial and personal benefits (Clark & Antonelli, 2009; Ferguson, Frost, & Hall, 2012; Leithwood, 2006). In the needs assessment data, Ontario middle school teachers’ positive and negative affect and work enjoyment-levels supported the literature review examination of teachers’ intensified emotional labor and school administrators’ limited engagement with staff in the midst of daily challenges. Although Ontario elementary school administrators acknowledge that relationship-building skills are vital to the interpersonally intense school-administrator role, inadequate time-margins were reported for connection, conversation, and coaching of teaching staff (Leithwood & Azah, 2014). The goal of this exploratory mixed-methods intervention was to prioritize psychological well-being through a transformative learning experience to prime elementary school administrators’ self-awareness and psychological capital. Two treatments were used: a) the LuminaSpark© personalized psychometric inventory and workshop, and b) six expressive writing experiences. Results indicated that several aspects of both treatments shifted participants’ perspectives (King, 2009), and the LuminaSpark© participants reported a positive increase in psychological capital post-intervention. An expanded transformational learning model involving recursive reflective discourse is recommended for future leadership development research to cultivate habits of mind that sustain changed behavior over time.