A social justice perspective on women in educational leadership

Deirdre Torrance, Kay Fuller, Rachel McNae, Carmel Roofe, Rowena Arshad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Social justice is fundamental to feminism. Feminist theorists place women’s experiences of gender inequalities at the centre of their theorizations about leadership. Feminist critiques of leadership are set in a wider social context. In this chapter, the perspectives of women educational leaders are explored within the wider ‘social justice leadership’ perspective. Internationally, social justice leadership represents a major theme within policy, research and literature with a resurgence of interest into the experiences and perceptions of women in educational leadership. This chapter critically appraises women’s perspectives on educational leadership, by drawing on the experiences of four women headteachers/principals in each of four international contexts, sixteen women in total. Case studies, conducted in Scotland, England, Jamaica and New Zealand, provide contrasting, cross-national contexts to compare the influences, possibilities and challenges that women school leaders experience. Each of the country researcher teams was guided by the same interview questions, adopting a common methodological approach for conducting in-depth interviews and the analysis of findings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultures of Educational Leadership
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal and Intercultural Perspectives
EditorsPaul Miller
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781137585677
ISBN (Print)9781137585660
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameIntercultural Studies in Education


  • women leaders
  • social justice
  • educational leadership


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