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Gender and Leadership in Education

Women Achieving Against the Odds

Edited By 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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Notes on Contributors


TONY BUSH is Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Nottingham (UK and Malaysia) and Visiting Professor of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is a vice president and Council member of the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) and was given the Society’s Distinguished Service Award in 2008. He has edited the BELMAS international journal, Educational Management, Administration and Leadership (EMAL), since 2002. Tony has published extensively on many aspects of school leadership and management, including the influential Theories of Educational Leadership and Management, which is now in its fourth edition and has been translated into several languages. He has directed many research projects for the former National College for School Leadership, and for many other clients in the UK and several other countries. Tony has been researching in South Africa for twenty years. He was director for the evaluation of the national ACE: School Leadership pilot programme for current and aspiring principals, from 2007-2011, funded by the Zenex Foundation. He has been a consultant, external examiner, invited keynote speaker or research director in more than twenty countries on all six continents. He is also a fellow of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management (FCCEAM).

MARY CUNNEEN is a doctoral candidate in the School of Education at University College Dublin, focusing on the area of gender and leadership. She was a post-primary teacher for over twenty years and now works in the area of teacher education.

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