Pedagogy of the interior: awakening beauty through encounter

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Moylan, Anne Marie
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University College Cork
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Leadership sustainability and professional development is the focus of this qualitative constructivist research. Reform of the leadership role is proposed through the new pedagogy of the interior, devised to effect intrinsic transformation and leadership actualisation. It is crucial that school leaders re-imagine an untenable role that has been expanding exponentially for decades in terms of task, responsibility, and complexity. The pedagogy awakens the beauty of a new way of thinking, being and learning, achieved through encounter from the inside-out and bottom-up personal and interpersonal layers of the school community. The research evaluates the progression and beneficence of an embodied pedagogy of the interior and interrogates the psychological barriers of perfectionism and hegemony that restrict growth and change. The scholarly personal narrative methodology (Nash, 2011) comprises a cathartic journey of subjective reflexivity, meaning-making, and renewal. It is a befitting and rigorous methodology for encounter with theory, research, and leadership experience. It affords scope for the supplementary epistemologies of self-study and action research employed to deepen learning. It employs reflexive thematic analysis and crystallisation techniques of analysis through the media of arts. It accounts for the roots and trajectory of an embodied pedagogy of the interior, an essential complementary component of the Irish Primary Principal’s Network (2022) sustainable leadership project. Research finds i) how existing knowledge, experience and skillsets for restorative practice and nonviolent communication (Rosenberg, 2015) form the bedrock for systemic habitual encountering, ii) how philosophy of encounter and disruption creates aptitude for complexity, iii) how psychoeducation and self-understanding demystifies unconscious beliefs and practices that hinder the awakening of beauty. In conclusion, the research reveals the pedagogy of the interior to be transformative and emancipatory. It cultivates a skillset for critical thinking and dialogue and illuminates the source of power. It reinstates inner peace, outer harmony, autonomy, and agency. It deserves a prominent place in professional development. I attest that the personification of the leadership dilemma is an academic gap and a portal to the reconfiguration of professional identity.
Pedagogy of the interior, school leadership , School leadership , Sustainability , Scholarly personal narrative , Professional identity , Restorative practice , Perfectionism , Hegemony , Power , Professional development
Moylan, A. M. 2023. Pedagogy of the interior: awakening beauty through encounter. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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