Where will Women in Education in the UAE go? How? We can decide…


Leadership & Management Discussion Forum & Collaboration Ideas for Women in Education in the UAE

Recent reports by The National, The Khaleej Times and Gulf News (online newspapers serving the UAE) show that while women are overrepresented in further and higher education as students in the UAE (and that by comparison male student engagement at this level is considerably weaker), once women get into the workforce they are still underrepresented at senior leadership levels of decision making importance. However, the UAE government leadership programme being led by HH Sheikh Mohammed is really helping get female leaders into the hitherto harder to reach corners of male dominated industries with top level support. In terms of taking the lead in making improvements and changing things for the better, the UAE is certainly a country to be admired and praised. August 28 is Emirati Women’s Day and many have stepped forward to tell of their proudest moments in parliament and other leadership roles so far. It leaves me wondering what advancements will be made that the rest of the world will soon be learning from.

In the meantime, expat educationalists like myself are interested in their own personal CPD and career advancement. As a female in education, how would you like to be helped to move forward to add value in a position of leadership? What is currently holding you back? What support would you like and do you need to break through any perceived barriers?

Where will our new path together lead us? What might our directions include?

I’ve put some thoughts together below framed around standard themes you might expect in leadership and management type approaches to education. I believe this is a good starting point for discussion about what we might discuss and how we might help each other. Self reflection and appraisal is needed, while also taking into account what else needs adding from a female perspective. So, for the sake of jumping right in…
Can you:

– Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate your conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences?

– Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level?

– Continue to advance your knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level?

– Show you have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:
– the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility?

– decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations?

– the independent learning ability required for CPD?
Education leadership and management training usually focusses on developing these skills within people. Can you share your own best practice in this regard in the UAE? Can you help others? Especially women in education reaching out to meet the challenge of leadership roles in the UAE?
We all need to reflect on and develop around these skills and more, and these points of focus would be especially helpful to those already or planning to engage in CPD on this topic at the post-grad level. These topics can’t be isolated from the umbrella of broader topic areas, e.g.: team working, organisational culture, managing change, emotional intelligence, policy implementation and evaluation.

Educational leaders and managers need to develop knowledge and skills to help them:

  1. Critically analyse and evaluate selected aspects of leadership and management appropriate to their role and context.
  2. Critically evaluate their own leadership and management to reveal new insights on theory and practice
  3. Reflect on implementing change and improvements in their own setting
  4. Reflect on how to carry out research on leadership and management
    5. Critically examine the impact of their leadership and management on their institution
    6. Consider application of appropriate ethical and professional standards

On a continual basis, educational leaders need to keep in mind:

– A critical overview of institutional cultures

– The task of defining leadership and management

– Leadership approaches

– Management of change

– Project planning
How can we help each other to continue achieving and improving in the above with particular emphasis on education in the UAE? I’d like to recommend the above for themes for twitter discussion, group meets, conferences and journal publication with a “women in UAE” educational leadership development focus.
In the meantime a reading list for personal development and discussion could be considered as follows (please add any further reading in comments below – it’s a basic starter for ten based on what you might expect to find on an education leadership and management course). Can you volunteer to read and blog or present on one of these texts with reference to development of female leaders and manager needs in the UAE? Either in your own blog, or at an event to be held soon? Please tweet back to let us know which one or place a comment below! Be sure to tweet us and link us in with any of your publications and discussions based on these issues and more.

Briggs A R J and Coleman M (2007 2nd edition) Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management; London: Sage

Coleman M and Earley P eds (2005) Leadership and Management in Education; Oxford: Oxford University Press

Coleman M and Glover D eds (2010) Educational Leadership and Management: Developing Insights and Skills; Maidenhead: Open University Press

Teacher Development Agency (TDA) (2008) The Little Book of Managing Change at http://www.learning-

Tolhurst J (2006) Coaching for Schools: A Practical Guide to Building Leadership Capacity; Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.

Wider Reading List

Bell, J. ( 2005 edition) Doing Your Research Project. Buckingham, Open University Press.

Bennett, N., Crawford, M., Cartwright, M., Effective (2003) Educational Leadership. London. Paul Chapman.

Bolton, G. (2005) 2nd Edition. Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development. London, Sage Publications.

Brundrett M., Burton, N (2005) Leading the Curriculum in the Primary School.; London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

Brundrett, M. and Terrell, I. (eds) (2004) Learning to Lead in the Secondary School. London, Routledge Falmer.

Bush T (2008) Leadership and Management Development in Education; London: Sage
Busher H (2006) Understanding Educational Leadership: People, Power and Culture; Maidenhead: Open University Press

Busher, H. and Harris, A. (2000) Subject Leadership and School Improvement. London, Paul Chapman.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2003) Research Methods in Education. London: Routledge Falmer.

Coles MJ and Southworth G eds (2005) Developing Leadership: Creating the Schools of Tomorrow; Maidenhead: Open University Press

Davies B ed (2005) The Essentials of School Leadership; London: Paul Chapman

Davies B, Ellison L and Bowring-Carr C (2005 2nd edition) School Leadership in the 21st Century: Developing a Strategic Approach; Abingdon; Routledge

Dean, J. (2003) Subject Leadership in the Primary School: A Practical Guide for Curriculum Coordinators. London: David Fulton Publishers.

Fleming, P. (2000) The Art of Middle Management in Secondary Schools; London, David Fulton.

Fleming, P. and Amesbury, M. (2001) The Art of Middle Management in Primary Schools: A guide to Effective Subject and Team Leadership; London, David Fulton.

Fullan, M. (2001) Leading in a Culture of Change; San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Fullan, M. (2003) The Moral Imperative of School Leadership; California, Corwin Press.

Goleman, D. (1996) Emotional Intelligence;London: Bloomsbury Paperbacks.

Goleman, D. (1999) Working with Emotional Intelligence; London: Bloomsbury Paperbacks.

Honey, P. (1997) Improve your People Skills; London: Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

Kerry, T. (2001) Working with Support Staff their roles and effective management in Schools; London: Pearson

Tomlinson, H. (2004) Educational Leadership: Personal Growth for Professional Development; London: Sage Publications.

Tranter, S. (2006) From Teacher to Middle Manager: Making the Next Step; 2nd Edition Harlow, Pearson Education.

Wallace, M. Poulson, L (2003) Learning to Read Critically in Educational Leadership and Management; London: Sage.


Educational Management Administration and Leadership.
BELMAS Journal published by Sage.


Educational Leadership. ASCD Journal.

International Journal on Leadership in Education. Taylor Francis.

Journal of Management in Education. Sage.

Web Sites

National College for School Leadership – www.education.gov.uk/nationalcollege

DfE – www.education.gov.uk

General Search Engine www.scholar.google.com

3 thoughts on “Where will Women in Education in the UAE go? How? We can decide…

  1. Brilliant to read Carol and here’s to the successes of #WomenEd_UAE!

    Some suggestions I add are:

    High Challenge, Low Threat – Mary Myatt
    Leadership Matters: How leaders at all levels can create great schools – Andy Buck
    Resonant Leadership – Boyatzis and McKee
    Better Under Pressure – Justin Menkes
    Consiglieri: Leading From The Shadows – Richard Hytner

    Liked by 1 person

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