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Feminist educational leadership in a New Zealand neo-liberal context

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A qualitative, feminist, case study methodology was used to research the feminist leadership of three women principals of coeducational secondary schools. Information was collected by interviewing and observing the three feminist principals, interviewing 24 staff, and collecting documents. Research indicated that being student focused was central to the practice of feminist educational leaders. This thesis explored how they were able to remain student focused in a New Zealand, neo-liberal, education context with increased financial, accountability and marketing responsibilities. By resisting and appropriating the opportunities and demands created by the reforms, the feminist principals were, to some extent, able to resist the pressure to be less student focused. However, in doing so they worked very long hours. Their personal value systems and the school context were also important influences on their practice. There were both commonalities and diversity among the women's leadership.
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Keywords: Feminism; Leadership; Quality; Research; Schools

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1999

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