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Seen but not heard: Women's experiences of educational leadership in Solomon Islands secondary schools

This study is concerned with the representation of women in leadership positions in Solomon Islands. In particular, it explores the educational leadership experiences of women working in Solomon Islands' secondary schools. While much research to date has been carried out in the developed and developing countries, very little has been undertaken in Melanesian countries. As such, we know very little about women's experiences in educational leadership in Melanesia. Research data was gathered using qualitative methods. Specifically, interviews were conducted with eight women, five were deputy principals and three were Heads of Departments. All the participants were teaching in schools in an urban centre. Data gathered were analyzed using the thematic analysis approach. The data gathering was conducted in the Solomon Islands in October 2007. The key findings revealed a number of issues that impacted on the women's leadership in their respective schools. Findings include lack of self confidence, difficulties in balancing work and family, discriminatory attitudes and the influence of the cultural patriarchal norms on the attitudes towards women in leadership positions. Other key findings related to the nature of the organization, in this case, the school. This included a lack of initial preparatory and on - going professional development programmes and a lack of consultation in the decision making process. This study also found that while the women embraced the collaborative approach to leadership, the structural barriers through the hierarchical organization of the schools meant they could not lead the way they would like to.
Type of thesis
Akao, S. M. (2008). Seen but not heard: Women’s experiences of educational leadership in Solomon Islands secondary schools (Thesis, Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2379
The University of Waikato
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