Bridget Lim Suk Han
Institut Aminuddin Baki Sabah Branch, Malaysia


This paper is an anecdote of an educational leader who is the researcher of this study, has meandered her way through the context impediments before the intended research could be carried out which is an ethnographic fieldwork case study that explores the capacities and capabilities of a small bucolic school with all the pastoral and rustic conditions in the rural area of Sabah. The main objective of this paper is to delineate the pathway that this educational leader needs to drive on and explore to integrate herself in the daily routine of the case school so as to be accepted in the school community. The researcher treads this preliminary journey for 2 weeks. In order to extract meaning from the unique, lived experiences of the context to facilitate the smooth commencement of the intended study, she conducts peripheral observations when walkabouts, casual interactions with the school community as well as village folks, and joining community gatherings. The recording of the treading for this preliminary journey is grounded in nature where the use of journal entries is highly utilized. The data is mainly gathered from the Head Teacher, only three English teachers and Year 5 pupils. The archived documents of the village are also delved into to have a taste of its historical establishment. Through this preliminary journey, there are several valuable learning points. Educational leaders especially those who have just been assigned the responsibility as school leaders are researchers. Undoubtedly, they are consistently receiving data that are valuable input to initiate changes. Nevertheless, they have to be tactful in handling contextual issues surrounding the school before any initiations can be put forth and accepted by the community they are in. Hence, understanding the context is an entrance ticket for leaders to start accessing their school community. Nevertheless, the incident learning point on emotional alignment for the researcher is truly a bonus and eye opening for those who daunt the idea of conducting researches.


School Community, Unique Context, Lived Experiences, Educational Leaders Are Researchers