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Gender and Leadership in Education

Women Achieving Against the Odds

Kay Fuller and Judith Harford

The under-representation of women in leadership positions in educational settings is a widely acknowledged, complex phenomenon that seems to persist, despite the fact that teaching as a profession is dominated by women. Over recent decades, scholars have investigated the factors contributing towards this under-representation, with a particular focus on the personal, organisational and social/cultural levels.

This volume has been compiled in honour of Marianne Coleman, Emeritus Reader in Educational Leadership and Management at the Institute of Education, University College London. She is widely regarded as one of the most significant scholars globally in the field of gender and educational leadership, forging the research agenda and mentoring some of the scholars who contribute essays here. Amongst the key questions the book asks are: Why does society continue to accept male leaders as the norm? What barriers do women who seek leadership positions face? What supports do women require in order to encourage them to pursue leadership positions? How do women working in leadership positions conceive of their role as leaders? How might women’s educational leadership be best supported at an institutional level?

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The Research on Gender in the Field of Educational Management: A Journals-Based Historical Overview of an Area of Study (Izhar Oplatka)

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Izhar Oplatka The Research on Gender in the Field of Educational Management: A Journals-Based Historical Overview of an Area of Study Since the 1970s, gender has become both an important topic of aca- demic study and a major category to be used in analysis within the social sciences (Bradley 2007), including management and education. Spurred by the women’s studies movement of the 1970s, researchers in many fields either focused directly on gender differences or used gender as a variable in their analysis These streams of research have also penetrated the field of educational management (EM) which focuses on the leadership and organisation of educational institutions (Oplatka 2010). A great deal of research worldwide has addressed the differentiation between the attitudes and behaviours of men and women in educational leadership and administration during the last four decades thereby enriching our knowledge about the role of gender in schools and the unique characteristics of women in leadership. The purpose of the current chapter is to trace the place of ‘gender’ in the field’s discourse since the early 1960s, the decade in which the first aca- demic journals in the field emerged. More specifically, this chapter aims to present the emergence of ‘gender’ as an area of study in the field’s journals from a historical perspective and analyse the major topics related to this area of study and its types of publication. Historical analysis offers a new approach to understand an area of study by charting according to date the main research contributions...

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