Generating the Power of a Diverse Collective by Following Women's Approaches to Leadership

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Charol Shakeshaft and Margaret Grogan have just finished a book called "Women and Educational Leadership" for a leadership series published by Jossey-Bass. For those engaged in the preparation and development of school leaders, women's leadership is thus recognized along with Distributed Leadership, Turnaround Leadership, Ethical Leadership, Teacher Leadership, Sustainable Leadership, etc. In other words, women's leadership has gained legitimacy in the PreK-12 educational sector. Professors and researchers of leadership now have an excellent body of research to draw upon, and have reason to rethink how leadership of schools and districts can be enacted. Policy implications of this include the need for collecting more accurate data at the state and local level to verify the numbers of women serving as principal and superintendent; despite the promise of new leadership approaches that is grounded in Grogan, Shakeshaft, and others' research, women are still surprisingly underrepresented in these powerful positions. In this paper the author traces the development of the book as it grew out of Shakeshaft and Grogan's research, along with the research of others who have been studying women in PreK-12 leadership in education. Grogan describes the context of this book to help those unfamiliar with women's leadership understand why it is still important, in 2010, to draw attention to women doing work that has traditionally been done by men. She also reflects upon why she thinks that such a book on women's leadership is timely.


This article was originally published in The Claremont Letter, volume 4, issue 3, in 2010.


Claremont Graduate University. School of Educational Studies