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  • 1.
    Hedlin, Maria
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Head Teachers, Women and Hesitation to Discuss Gender Issues.2017In: Open Journal of Social Sciences, E-ISSN 2327-5960, Vol. 5, no 6, p. 238-250Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to explore how a group of Swedish head teachers approaches the importance of gender issues in terms of their work. The empirical material is from so-called “research circles”, which were part of a gender equality project conducted in southern Sweden. A research circle is similar to a focus group interview. The group, which consists of eight women who were head teachers within compulsory education, met on six occasions. The results show that the women initially expressed strong hesitation about whether discussing gender issues in relation to the role of head teacher was beneficial at all. The entire gender equality project was called into question by the suggestion that the connection between head teacher and gender implied a weakening of women. However, examples of gender playing a role within educational settings were increasingly noted. By highlighting female head teachers’ ambivalence towards discussing issues related to gender and gender equality, this paper contributes to the discussion about why these issues do not occupy a stronger position within schools. Also, the female head teachers’ hesitation and ambivalence are connected to the decline in status of the head teacher profession due to the restructuring of education, for which women in educational leadership in Sweden have been blamed.

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