Past Experiences, Present Beliefs, Future Practices: Using Narratives to Re(present) Leadership Educator Identity

In an effort to better understand leadership educator preparation, this qualitative study explores leadership educators’ identity constructions, or (re)presentations of experiences, beliefs, and practices that contribute to one’s professional identity. We used three narrative approaches (storytelling, symbolic interactionism, and anticipatory reflection) to capture short stories of leadership educators’ lived experiences and life perspectives. Analysis of these narratives illustrate the kinds of past experiences that led to shifts in thinking or practice. Leadership education was seen as a process of leadership development, with teachers and students both exercising leadership. And participants’ reflection on their intentions for future practice emphasize learning that is both personal (relational) and procedural (developing knowledge and skills). Findings offer insight into recommendations for intentional professional development experiences and future research.