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Arab women principals' empowerment and leadership in Israel

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Purpose ‐ This paper's purpose is to tell the life-stories of four women who succeeded in forging paths to senior positions as principals in Arab schools in Israel and to describe the personal, professional and sociopolitical contexts of their principalship. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This is part of a larger research effort that explored the issue of Arab women managers. Open interviews were conducted with four women principals, employing a narrative approach to study career development and managerial style. Findings ‐ The stories indicate that these women act as progressive models for Arab society that has not yet recognized women leaders as a social norm. The source of these women's empowerment can be found in their personal backgrounds. These women have created a new style of leadership in Arab schools. An outstanding feature of the principals' stories is the significant importance that they attribute to their relationships with teachers, students and parents. Originality/value ‐ To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first attempt to document the development of Arab women principals in Israel in their biographical, professional and sociological contexts. The paper provides insight into the educational and social contributions of women in senior positions in Israel's Arab educational system.
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Keywords: Empowerment; Israel; Leadership; Principals; Women

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 28, 2010

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