Women in administration in Catholic education

McDonald, Margaret Mary (1993). Women in administration in Catholic education PhD Thesis, Graduate School of Education, The University of Queensland.

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Author McDonald, Margaret Mary
Thesis Title Women in administration in Catholic education
School, Centre or Institute Graduate School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1993
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Total pages 319
Language eng
Subjects 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Formatted abstract This study focusses upon women in educational administration in Catholic schools and systems in Queensland. While the position of women in educational administration has been researched both in Australia and overseas, the position of women in Catholic education in Australia has not been examined against a feminist critique of the Catholic school as set within the institutional ecology of the Catholic church. Through a research approach which provided both quantitative and qualitative data, the researcher sought to identify both the attitudional and structural barriers which hinder women's promotion and the positive forces which assist women's access to leadership positions. A model was proposed for the implementation of change within the Catholic school and system sector.

The three substantive areas of this study are seen as interrelated.

   (a) Theology and Teachings of the Catholic church, particularly as they relate to women;
   (b) Educational Administration;
   (c) Feminist scholarship.

The linkages between each of the three substantive areas have been examined through a theoretical dialectic of "genesis amnesia" and "dangerous memory". Bourdieu's (1977) theory of "genesis amnesia" is widely known, particularly amongst sociologists in education. He saw the structures of teaching and knowledge as largely the imposition of a cultural arbitrary by those in authority in the institution so that things appear to have always been as they are, and therefore, should continue to be so. The other explanatory theory is that of the "dangerous memory" of Brueggemann (1978) and Metz (1980). They stressed the importance of keeping memory alive within both the individual and the community because the destruction of a memory system prevents people from becoming or remaining a subject in the context of history or society. On the other hand a community rooted in energizing memories and summoned by radical hope is a threat to the dominant culture and may become a powerful force for introducing change into a culture or organization.

The final aspect of this study is the analysis and review of the Gender Equity Policy of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission. Practical strategies for improved access for women to educational administration in Catholic education at both school and system level arose out of all aspects of the study.
Keyword Catholic Church -- Education.
Women in education -- Queensland.
Women school administrators -- Queensland.
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