Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Women in Primary Education Principalship in Cyprus: Experiences from Past to Present

By Elena Kyriacou-Savva

Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to cast light on the neglected ‘walking phenomenon’ (Morton, 2002) of women’s uneven participation in Cyprus primary school management and to investigate the reasons causing it. More specifically, the research offers insights into women’s experiences of progressing to and experiencing primary school principalship in Cyprus from 1961 to 2010; examines whether and to what extent these experiences have changed over the last five decades; and maps the reasons women leaders provide for their disproportionate representation in principalship over this period. Underpinned by the principle of ‘fitness for purpose’ (Cohen et al., 2007), the interpretive paradigm, a qualitative approach (narrative inquiry), snowball sampling, semi-structured in-depth narrative interviewing of 23 retired and in-service women principals as well as thematic analysis are adopted. \ud With regard to women’s experiences of progressing to principalship, the findings suggest that women educators in primary education between 1961 and 2010 had generally been non-leadership oriented; had followed fairly unplanned occupational trajectories; and thus had needed external encouragement to enhance their confidence and set themselves on the pathway to principalship. Participants had been fairly unaware of discriminatory dynamics during the interview for promotion. In terms of women’s experiences of principalship, the outcomes indicate that, despite a growing positive ethos, stereotypical preconceptions identified in the school, community and family contexts regarding women in leadership posts – particularly of younger age – persist. The comparison of women’s experiences of progressing to and experiencing primary school principalship in Cyprus between 1961 and 2010 reveals comparable conducive and/or impeding impacts on women’s advancement as well as on their leadership role as such, throughout the period under consideration. A range of reasons for women’s disproportionate representation in primary school principalship are proposed by narrators that fall in three intersected levels coined in this thesis: a) the Macro level: Socio-cultural barriers, b) the Meso level: Institutional barriers and c) the Micro level: Personal/Psychological barriers. Some implications for theory, policy and practice are provided and recommendations for future research are proposed

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/27829

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (1996). A critique of the neglected epistemological assumptions of educational research,
  2. (2005). A perspective on women principals in Turkey,
  3. (2002). A Walking Phenomenon? Women in Educational Leadership in England Within a Performance Culture,
  4. (2001). Achievement Against the Odds: the female secondary headteachers in England and Wales,
  5. (1990). Acts of Meaning,
  6. (2011). Agency and Female Teachers’ Career Decisions: A Life History
  7. (2003). All research is interpretive!,
  8. (2008). Analysing narrative contexts, in
  9. (2011). Aspirations to and Perceptions of Secondary Headship: Contrasting Female Teachers’ and Headteachers’ Perspectives,
  10. (2005). Assessing Quality in Applied and Practice-based Educational research: A Framework for Discussion,
  11. (1994). Becoming a secondary headteacher,
  12. (1999). Case Study in Educational Settings,
  13. (2009). Chinese Women’s Participation in Educational Leadership: A Review and Analysis of the Current Situation,
  14. (1994). Competing Paradigms in Qualitative Research,
  15. (2009). Conscious Leadership in a Political World,
  16. (1996). Dancing on the ceiling: A Study of
  17. (1992). Data management,
  18. (1992). Deconstructing the Qualitative Divide: What’s Wrong with Ethnography?,
  19. (2009). Disappearing Gender: Choices in Identity,
  20. (2008). Doing Narrative Research,
  21. (2005). Doing Qualitative Research,
  22. (2008). Doing your Research Project: A guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science,
  23. (1998). Educating Muslim girls: shifting discourses,
  24. (1997). Education for Leadership and Social Responsibility,
  25. (1987). Education: the patriarchal paradigm and the response to feminism,
  26. (1989). Educational leadership: a feminist critique and reconstruction,
  27. (1998). Educational Management: An Exploratory Study of Management Roles, and Possibilities of Management Development at College Level in the State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, unpublished doctoral thesis,
  28. (2008). Educational Policies that Address Social Inequality: Country Report: Cyprus,
  29. (2002). Eine Tochter ist kein Sohn, translated in Greek by Koffa, M., Fytrakis Publications.
  30. (1990). Equity and Efficiency? School management in an international context, London,
  31. (2000). Essentials of Female Management: Women’s Ways of Working
  32. (2009). Ethical considerations during human centred overt and covert research,
  33. (2007). Ethics of research
  34. (1995). Ethnography. Principles in Practice,
  35. (1999). Evolving Reflexivity: Negotiating Meaning of Women’s Midlife Experience,
  36. (2008). Experience-centred and culturally-oriented approaches to narrative,
  37. (2007). Expressions of excellence and the assessment of applied and practice-based research,
  38. (2009). Foreword: For the Sake of Social Justice, Opening Remarks,
  39. (1999). Gender and education management: duel or dialogue?,
  40. (2006). Gender and Educational Management,
  41. (2007). Gender and management in further education in Scotland: an agenda for research,
  42. (1993). Gender issues in management training,
  43. (2008). Headteacher Career Paths in
  44. (1996). Highly Successful Women Administrators: The Inside Stories of How They Got There,
  45. (2009). I Don’t Want to Be a School Head’: Women Deputy Heads’
  46. (2001). In Their Time: A History of Feminism in
  47. (2001). In-depth Interviewing,
  48. (2010). Indigenous Australian women;s leadership: stayin’ strong against the postcolonial tide,
  49. (2003). Interrogating Orthodox Voices: Gender,
  50. (1998). Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and the Social Sciences, Teachers
  51. (2001). Interviewing older people,
  52. (2001). Interviewing women,
  53. (2007). Interviews in educational research: conversations with a purpose,
  54. (2002). Introductory speech at the Conference ‘Women in Educational Administration’,
  55. (2011). Intruding into the "old boys’ network"
  56. (2007). Invisible barriers: the career progress of women secondary school principals in Greece,
  57. (2007). Leadership in Solomon Islands schools: The experiences of Solomon Island women, unpublished
  58. (2008). Learning from Leading Women’s Experience: Towards a Sociological Understanding,
  59. (1997). Lies, damned lies – and storytelling,
  60. (2007). Making sense of the glass ceiling in schools: an exploration of women teachers’ discourses,
  61. (1992). Management by halves: women teachers and school management,
  62. (1993). Managing Women: Feminism and Power
  63. (2003). Manual or electronic? The role of coding in qualitative data analysis,
  64. (1999). Men into primary teaching: Who goes where?,
  65. (1998). Mixed Methodology: Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches,
  66. (1995). Models of Narrative Analysis: a typology,
  67. (2005). My gender and I: Female educational leaders’ experiences of gender in Pakistan,
  68. (1993). Narrative Analysis,
  69. (2008). Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences,
  70. (1998). Narrative Research: Reading, Analysis and Interpretation,
  71. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry,
  72. (2004). Navigating the waves: the usefulness of a pilot in qualitative research,
  73. (2008). Never the last word: Revisiting data,
  74. (1992). On Careers: Themes from the Lives of Four Western Canadian Women Educators,
  75. (2010). Organisational Culture and Leadership,
  76. (2011). outsiders' in the interview (2011) [online image] Available from:
  77. (2009). Overview for Part III,
  78. (2009). Overview for Part V,
  79. (2009). Portraying Women Administrators: Turkish Cases,
  80. (2001). Preparation and Training for School Leadership: Case studies of nine women headteachers in the secondary independent sector,
  81. (2009). Preparing Women for Educational Leadership: Opportunities in Nonformal Education in Bagladesh,
  82. (2000). Primary school teachers’ careers in England and Wales: the relationship between gender, role, position and promotion aspirations,
  83. (2003). Primary teachers talking: A reflexive account of longitudinal research,
  84. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis,
  85. (2001). Qualitative Interviewing,
  86. (2005). Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data,
  87. (2007). Qualitative Research for Education: An Introduction to Theories and Methods, Pearson International Edition.
  88. (2001). Qualitative Research Interviewing: Biographic Narrative and SemiStructured Methods,
  89. (2002). Qualitative Researching,
  90. (2004). Quantitative and qualitative research: conflicting paradigms or perfect partners?, paper presented at the Networked Learning Conference,
  91. (2009). Re/positioning Women in Educational Leadership: The Changing Social Relations and Politics of Gender in Australia,
  92. (1990). Reading Ethnographic Research: A Critical Guide,
  93. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches,
  94. (2004). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques,
  95. (2007). Research Methods for Business Students, Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice
  96. (1998). Researching the Characteristics of Effective Primary School Principals in Cyprus: A Qualitative Approach,
  97. (2002). Revisiting the Quantitative-Qualitative Debate: Implications for Mixed-Methods Research,
  98. (2009). Salary gap between men and women in Cyprus and EU,
  99. (2007). School principal preparation in Europe,
  100. (1998). Secondary Principals in Cyprus: The Views of the Principal versus the Views of the Teachers, paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association,
  101. (2004). Similarities and Differences in role Conflict, Role Commitment and Job Satisfaction for Female and Male High School Principals,
  102. (2004). Social Research Methods,
  103. (1995). Sociology in Focus,
  104. (2006). Sources of teacher job satisfaction and dissatisfaction in
  105. (2002). Status and Empowerment of Women in Educational Leadership,
  106. (2009). Status of Educational Leadership and Female Participation: The Case of Tanzania,
  107. (1990). Stories of experience and narrative inquiry,
  108. (2007). Struggling between tradition and modernity: Gender and educational choice-making
  109. (2011). Switching roles (2011) [online image] Available from:
  110. (1992). Symbolic interactionism: theory and method,
  111. (2007). Taking a critical stance in research,
  112. (1997). The Age of Reason or the Age of Innocence?,
  113. (2007). The analysis of qualitative data,
  114. (1993). The development of women managers in education, or, how to talk about it,
  115. (2005). The Discipline and Practice of Qualitative Research, The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research,
  116. (1985). The Ear of the Other,
  117. (2007). The Good Research Guide: for small-scale social research projects,
  118. (2009). The impact of culture on women’s leadership in Vanuatu secondary schools, Med diss.,
  119. (2000). The importance of pilot studies: Beginning the hermeneutic circle,
  120. (2001). The Leadership Styles of Women and Men,
  121. (1999). The Making of Educational Leaders,
  122. (1998). The pilot study: One key to research success,
  123. (2008). The public life of narratives: Ethics, politics, methods,
  124. (2007). The Republic, translated by
  125. (2004). The researcher/interviewer in intercultural context: a social intruder!,
  126. (1953). The Second Sex,
  127. (2006). The Teller, the Tale, and the One Being Told: The Narrative Nature of the Research Interview,
  128. (1995). The Thomas Theorem and the Mathew Effect’,
  129. (1995). Theories of educational management, 2nd edition,
  130. (1999). Troubling Women: Feminism, Leadership and Educational Change,
  131. (2009). Ugandan Women: Moving Beyond Historical and Cultural Understandings of Educational Leadership,
  132. (2006). Underrepresentation of Women in Public Primary School Administration: The experience of Greece,
  133. (2003). Understanding Reliability and Validity in
  134. (2011). Unfavourable career brakes (2011) [online image] Available from:
  135. (2005). Using Narrative in Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches,
  136. (1990). Validation in Inquiry Guided Research: The Role of Exemplars in Narrative Studies,
  137. (1996). Voices of Women Aspiring to the Superintendency,
  138. (2006). Walking between Two Worlds: Indigenous Women and Educational Leadership,
  139. (2007). What do we mean by educational research?,
  140. (1997). Who does what at your place? Women educational leaders’ experiences of gender-segregated work,
  141. (2002). Women – better leaders than men? In general and educational management it still “all depends”,
  142. (2009). Women and Educational Leadership in a Muslim Society: A Study of Women College Heads in Pakistan,
  143. (2009). Women and Educational Leadership in New Zealand and Melanesia,
  144. (2008). Women and secondary school principal rotation/succession: a study of the beliefs of decision makers in four provinces,
  145. (2002). Women as Headteachers: Striking the Balance, Trentham Books, Stoke on Trent.
  146. (1993). Women as managers,
  147. (2011). Women at the top: Challenges, Choices and Change,
  148. (1993). Women Deputy Headteachers in Educational Management,
  149. (1988). Women in Ancient Greece and
  150. (2006). Women in educational administration within developing countries: Towards a new international research agenda,
  151. (2009). Women in Educational Leadership in England,
  152. (1993). Women in educational management in the United States,
  153. (2006). Women in Teaching: Participation, Power and Possibility,
  154. (1984). Women in the ancient world: The Arethusa papers,
  155. (2003). Women into educational leadership and management: International differences?,
  156. (1996). Women into Educational Management,
  157. (2011). Women leaders as targets (2011) [online image] Available from: http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/m/milestone.asp [Accessed
  158. (2009). Women leading education across the continents: Sharing the Spirit, Fanning the Flame, Rowman & Littlefield Education.
  159. (2000). Women Managing/Managing Women: The Marginalization of female leadership in Rural school settings,
  160. (2009). Women on the Rise: Women Navigating across Social, Political, Economic and Cultural Arenas to Claim their Stake
  161. (2011). Women’s incongruity with leadership roles
  162. (2009). Women’s Leadership in Educational Decentralisation and Parental Involvement: The case of Hong Kong,
  163. (2010). You have to be a servant for all: Melanesian women’s educational leadership experiences,
  164. (1998). You Never Show You Can’t Cope: Women
  165. (2009). Άρωμα ... γυναίκας στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο επιθυμεί το Κέντρο Ισότητας Φύλου, Phileleftheros, May 27th (Scent… of a woman in the European Parliament is wanted by Cyprus Equality Observatory).
  166. (2009). Βήματα για ίση αμοιβή, Department of Equality-Equal Treatment DEOK, Nicosia (Steps towards equal payment).
  167. (2010). Για την ισότητα ανδρών και γυναικών: Τον Σεπτέμβριο σε εφαρμογή σχέδιο δράσης στα σχολεία,
  168. (2002). Εμπειρίες και ερευνητικά αποτελέσματα για τη θέση της γυναίκας ως Διευθύντριας σε Σχολεία Μέσης Εκπαίδευσης της Κύπρου,
  169. (2010). Ετήσια Έκθεση 2009, Nicosia: Government Printing Office (Annual Report
  170. (2003). Η διάσταση της ισότητας του φύλου: Τάσεις και στόχοι,
  171. (2010). Η θέση της γυναίκας σήμερα, τόσο στην Κύπρο όσο και στην Ευρώπη, paper presented at the ‘Europe Direct’ Information Centre,
  172. (2003). Η θέση της γυναίκας στην ιεραρχία της δημόσιας εκπαίδευσης στην Κύπρο: Διαπιστώσεις και προοπτικές,
  173. (1998). Η Ιστορία της Εκπαίδευσης των κοριτσιών στην Κύπρο,
  174. (2010). Η Κύπρια γυναίκα σήμερα, Simerini,
  175. (2011). Η Κύπρος τίμησε τη Γυναίκα: Ο Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας παρέθεσε δεξίωση με αφορμή τη Διεθνή Ημέρα της Γυναίκας,
  176. (2000). Η λειτουργία και τα προγράμματα της Παιδαγωγικής Ακαδημίας Κύπρου (1959-1993), Nicosia (The function and programmes of the Pedagogical Academy of
  177. (2011). Θύματα πολύμορφης βίας οι γυναίκες,
  178. (2007). Ξενοφών Οικονομικός, translated in Modern Greek by Demetriadou-Toufexi, E. with an introduction by Lypourli, D., Zitros Publishing. (Xenophon Economicus).
  179. (2007). Οδηγός Επιχειρήσεων για τη συμφιλίωση Οικογενειακής – Επαγγελματικής ζωής, Cyprus Gender Equality Observatory (Manual for Corporations for the reconciliation of familial and professional life).
  180. (2010). Οι γυναίκες της Κύπρου δεν διεκδικούν,
  181. (2011). Πραγματικότητα η ανισότητα των δύο φύλων,
  182. (2010). Στατιστικές της Εκπαίδευσης 1961-2009, Nicosia: Government Printing Office (Statistics of Education 1961-2009).
  183. (2010). Τις απολύουν λόγω... εγκυμοσύνης, Simerini, March 12th (They dismiss them due to… pregnancy) Anon
  184. (1992). Το Κυπριακό Εκπαιδευτικό Σύστημα: Σταθμοί και Θέματα, Theopress Ltd, Nicosia (The Cypriot Educational System: Landmarks and Issues).

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.