Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Curriculum & Instruction

Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

Valerie J. Janesick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carolyn Ellis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Zorka Karanxha, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Judith Ponticell, Ph.D.


Educational Leadership, Fiction, Generativity, Legacy, Narrative Inquiry, Poetic Inquiry


The purpose of this study was to understand the life history of a female teacher by examining her beliefs about leaving a teaching legacy and by analyzing the narratives of four educational leaders as they reflect on the generative behaviors of this teacher. The research questions guiding this study were: (a) What elements of this teacher's life history contributed to creating a legacy of educational leaders? (b) What are the perspectives of the educational leaders impacted by this teacher as they relate to crafting an educational legacy? (c) How do the life stories of the teacher and educational leaders intersect to reveal narrative resonance - the ability of stories to interact in such a way that they influence other stories?

A review of relevant literature examined legacy creation or generativity. In addition, this study critiqued scholarship that extends narrative research approaches, specifically, fictional research texts. Since fictional research products can be catalysts for reflection and discussion, the final chapter of this study is presented as a fictionalized research-narrative that emerged from analysis of the data.

The data in this study included interview texts, participant artwork, reflections from the participant's journal, excerpts from the researcher's journal, and poetry written both by the participant and the researcher. The data were analyzed by using open and focused coding, employing the constant comparison process, and through artifact analysis. The data analysis of this qualitative study resulted in specific findings. First, the main participant demonstrated generative traits contributing to a legacy of educational leaders. Her compassion for all students, her passion for teaching/learning, her content knowledge, and her flexibility in the classroom all manifested themselves in the lives of the educational leaders participating in this study. Additionally, the narratives from the participant demonstrated narrative resonance, Stories, it seems, have their own legacies.