The Interpretation of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment as it Applies to a Philosophy of Leadership for the Educator/Administrator

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


The present study has aimed to explore and uncover educational leadership insights which exist in Feodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. This study involves four major parts: a relatively comprehensive literature review, important aspects of the study areas, main disciplinary concepts, and the general status of the knowledge in this area.

Dostoevsky was fascinated by man. He once wrote: "Man is mystery. This mystery must be solved, and even if you pass your entire life solving it, do not say you have wasted your time. I occupy myself with this mystery, because I want to be a man."1

His master work, Crime and Punishment, is proof of his intuitive and studied knowledge of philosophy, psychology, education, and leadership. In this celebrated novel, every character illustrates theoretical concepts examined in situations of social conflict. Raskolnikov, the most significant character, is a social leader in search of recognition. Raskolnikov, a decided idealist, wanted to change his society for the better. He reflected the ideals of Dostoevsky and his knowledge of philosophy and theoretical psychology. He defined man, his psychology, society, and philosophy that determines man's fate.

Crime and Punishment is a literary work of superb value; as such, it has a number of dimensions. The behavioral science student will find it to be superbly heuristic. From an educational perspective, the present study attempts to explore and clarify Dostoevsky's insights and wisdom regarding educational leadership. Fourteen specific research areas were identified. These were Faith in Man, Acceptance of Social Salvation, Rejection of Materialism, Rejection of Manipulation, Altruism, Self-analysis, Analytic Mind, Education and Compassion, Change and Hope for the Future, Creativity and Idea Development, Study and Involvement, Integrity, Action/Risk Taking, and Learning Through Suffering. The study contributes to philosophical and theoretical concepts in educational leadership. Thus, it should be valuable to educators/administrators.

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