Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Louise L. MacKay

Committee Members

Dorothy Driinkard-Hawkshawe, Nancy Dishner, Terrence A. Tollefson


Waging war against economic, political and social inequity, Highlander, founded in 1932 in Monteagle, Tennessee, near Chattanooga, served as a community-training center for southern industrial labor and farmers’ unions and as a major gathering place for black and white civil rights activists, even in those days when such activity was illegal. Teachers at Highlander believed in the capacity of people to educate and to govern themselves. Humanitarians or communitarians, those working at Highlander were concerned with the interrelated systems of class and race, which, they felt, consistently enabled a small segment of the population to exploit, dominate and oppress others.

This work explores whether or not there was a factor in the Highlander pedagogy that encouraged activist involvement and delves into participant assessment of Myles Horton as a charismatic leader. Although a variety of sources mention Highlander School or Myles Horton, little material exists that examines the relationship, if any, between the pedagogy or methodology used at Highlander and the leadership that emerged from the workshops. This study endeavors to fill that gap by using historical records, interviews of participants and anecdotal evidence to reveal a connection between Highlander, activism and charismatic leadership.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.