Publication date: 29/12/2020

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Summary: This thesis aims to understand the process of co-production of school leadership from the dialogical conversations of dialogical sensemaking, as researcher and school practitioners are faced with moments of interruption and recreate new knowledge of/in/to practice this social phenomenon. In this sense, it is based on socio-constructionist assumptions, which consider responsive orientations in relationships, with no tangible barrier between the self and others. To achive the proposed objective, I initially presented how the field has debated leadership in Organizational Studies, in general, and school leadership, specifically, in the national and international literature. I have argued that these studies are predominantly based on realistic perspectives, approaching a centralization of this social phenomenon in the figure of the leader and dissociating the social realities from the lived experiences of the practitioners. Then, I articulated the concepts of intersubjectivity, moral responsibility and reflexivity with the dialogical sensemaking, considering that the works that adopt this perspective of leadership do not deepen how the process of reframing this social phenomenon occurs from the reflexive dialogues. To empirically articulate the ideas developed, this project proposed the use of Reflexive Dialogical Research in a public elementary school in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim-ES. In this proposal, I considered that the “participant-researchers” and the “researcher-participants” coproduce research based on a constant process of observing and being observed, allowing this to advance to reflexivity through dialogues. The approach to the field was carried out based on participant observations via shadowing and individual and collective interviews with members of the School Council. The interpretative process was developed from Social Poetics (CUNLIFFE, 2002; SHOTTER, 1996), which considers language ontologically. The analysis was composed of two stages: 1) transcription of individual and collective interviews and chronological organization of field diaries so that these materials are considered texts permeated with meanings (BAKHTIN, 2011); 2) selection of the moments that caused surprises in the research participants, throughout the observations and interviews, and that were the starting point for reflexive dialogues; 3) identification in the texts referring to the selected moments resources that involve poetic and imaginative ways of conversations. The analysis of the data showed that the co-production of new meanings involved the articulation of school leading with three dimensions that generate arresting moments, starting points for the dialogical process: the relational dynamics between school and school community, the relations between the teaching unit and SEME and, finally, the teaching-learning rules and practices constructed
in everyday life. From these dimensions and the dialogues promoted, it was possible to reinforce the contradictory character of school leading and the need to understand it as a phenomenon that is encompassed by situated bodily knowledge, in which we constantly connect the self (school leader) with others and with the social context. For example, the use of social networks was presented as a critical point in the relationship in the school community, revealing the contradictory character about the conditions in which the school is understood by the different segments of this context. On the one hand, their use has generated tensions between the school and the community, as professionals in the school feel exposed to possible arbitrariness by parents. On the other hand, social networks were resignified from the moment they began to be understood as mechanisms for mobilizing the school community with SEME. The exposure of these contradictions revealed the complex and political context that permeates everyday practices in public schools, which led to the need to understand school leading as a phenomenon intertwined with a sense of moral responsibility, in the sense that leaders must be sensitive to differences from others, create opportunities for dialogues and critically reflect on what assumptions they have about people, about their social relationships and about everyday organizational practices. Therefore, the main contributions of this thesis are: the alternative to operationalize the process of reinterpret leadeing, paying attention to the conditions and tensions that permeate relationships and the co-production of meanings in/of/about this social phenomenon; and the rescue of the collectivity in the concept of morality through polyphony and dialogism, avoiding possible individualistic focus to the leadership approach and revealing micro-leadership practices throughout the relationships between the subjects.

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