LEARNING THROUGH TRAUMATIC LIFE EVENTS IN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
In Malaysia’s life long learning effort and policy to help working adults, a leadership development program was designed to help beginning and incumbent headteachers upgrade their knowledge and skills. While accomplishing this program in Sultan Idris Education University, many of the adult learners encountered critical incidents of life and death that could make or break their spirit and learning ability. The main purpose of this study was aimed at exploring the critical incidents of life and death that shape headteachers’ learning abilities in completing the first degree of management education. A critical incidents research paradigm was used. The data used in this exploration was collected mainly through self-reflective assignment and in-depth interviews from headteachers who had rose above life situations such as difficult child birth, battling cancer, Parkinson disease, accidents, kidnapping and other critical incidents while being adult learners. The research result yielded several elements that shape the learning abilities of the headteachers in the program. Among them were profound perseverance; motivation; family support; mentors and cultural beliefs. Specific recommendations for further research were also suggested.
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