Gender and leadership in Greek primary education

Papanastasiou, Efthymia (2016) Gender and leadership in Greek primary education. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

Women constitute more than half of the teaching force in primary schools in Greece but men are more likely than women to achieve headship. In other countries (e.g. in the USA, in the UK and in other European countries) women are represented in educational leadership in disproportionately low numbers, too.The aim of this thesis is to cast light on the neglected phenomenon of women’s relatively low participation in Greek primary school leadership and to explore the constructions of men and women head teachers and teachers regarding headship and gender. More specifically, the research offers insights into women’s and men’s experiences of progressing to and experiencing primary school leadership in Greece; examines whether and to what extent these experiences are gendered; and maps the participants' constructions of primary headship. In addition, I explore the future for women in educational leadership in Greece.

The study is underpinned by a feminist social constructionist paradigm, involving a qualitative analysis of 40 semi-structured in-depth interviews with women and men head teachers and teachers.

The findings suggest that women teachers in primary education in this sample, were generally less leadership-oriented than men and followed relatively unplanned occupational trajectories compared with men. Both men and women appeared to need encouragement from colleagues, superiors and family to enhance their confidence and set them on the pathway to headship. Gendered processes in relation to the recruitment and selection of head teachers, as well as traditional 'masculine' stereotypes of leadership, are challenged by the research. It is argued that both men and women participants construct accounts of approaching leadership in a fluid way, reflecting time, place and situation, rather than primarily gender. Finally, implications for theory, policy and practice are discussed and recommendations for future research are proposed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education, Primary -- Greece; Women teachers -- Greece; Women head teachers -- Greece; Leadership -- Greece -- Case studies
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 370 Education
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2016 09:19
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 16:04


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