Publication details [#10258]

Steele, Ursula D. 2003. Generative leadership or generativity: Examining the potential of these metaphors for pedagogic praxis. Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 299 pp.
Publication type
Ph.D dissertation
Publication language


The use of the metaphoric descriptor "generative" was deconstructed in this study to reveal problematic modernist assumptions guiding the selection of this metaphor and other images used to characterize educational reform. Postmodernist approaches were advocated and applied to address this concern. Approaches to the literature review, to the phenomenological, ethnomethodological, and grounded theory methods selected, and to the analyses of 45 semi-structured interviews and conversations held among 2 different groups of 5-6 individuals were tempered to maintain the capacity for this metaphor to invoke ironic contradictions among the interpretations it suggests. The findings from this study assert that the great benefit of taking up the study of a metaphor such as the word 'generative' may rest more in the decisions that result from a deconstruction of how the word is interpreted in a community than in attempts to define the essence of its meaning universally. (Ursula Steele)