I speculated at the outset of this research that the Human Resource frame would be most consistent with leadership practice guided by an ethic of care. The findings, however, indicate that while all the participants were caring in their practice as defined by Shogan, they were divided almost equally in their dominant use of the Human Resource and Structural frames. A further analysis of the care and leadership data, however, revealed that, without exception, those who resolved dilemmas using direct care also favoured the Human Resource leadership frame. Those who used dutiful care, sometimes equated with an ethic of justice, favoured the Structural frame. While the pattern of findings is provocative, this is a very small sample that does not allow for generalizations beyond this group. A meaningful next step would be a more in-depth look at the ethical practice of one or more women heads of school.The purpose of this study was to document the experiences of ten women heads of independent girls" schools in Canada for evidence of an ethic of care, as defined by Shogan (1988), as they reflected on how they resolved dilemmas. It is inquiry undertaken from the standpoint of women, and was designed to add to the limited knowledge base that addresses the feminine strand of relational leadership. An ethic of care is a fundamental attribute of the feminine strand of relational leadership. The selection of women, as the participants for this research, is based on a body of empirical research which suggests that women often cite reasons associated with an ethic of care or relations in support of their moral positions.While there is much to suggest that the context of independent girls" schools would be supportive of an ethic of care, there is also research that suggests that there are broader pressures or contradictions within a culture or context that create a paradox for women who may want to practice an ethic of care. Bolman and Deal"s (1992) typology of leadership provided the framework needed to take into consideration the impact on practice of the independent school context.
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When it comes to educational leadership in independent girls' schools in Canada, one cannot undermine the importance of the ethic of care. Patricia J. Dawson, in her book titled "Ethic of Care in Relation to Leadership Style and Women Heads of Independent Girls' Schools in Canada," provides a comprehensive exploration of this subject. Published in 2004, this insightful book offers a deep understanding of the connection between the ethic of care and the leadership styles of women heads of independent girls' schools.
In this groundbreaking work, Patricia J. Dawson delves into the concept of the ethic of care and its significance in educational leadership. She explores how women leaders in independent girls' schools embrace this ethic as part of their leadership style. The book highlights the ways in which the ethic of care informs decision-making, relationships with students and staff, and overall school culture. Dawson's meticulous research sheds light on the impact of the ethic of care on the educational experiences of students in these schools.
A key focus of Dawson's book is the role of women school principals in Canada's independent girls' schools. Through interviews and case studies, Dawson highlights the unique challenges and opportunities faced by women leaders in this context. She explores how the ethic of care empowers these women to create nurturing environments that support the academic, social, and emotional growth of their students. By examining the attitudes and experiences of women school principals, the book offers valuable insights into the barriers they face and the strategies they employ to overcome them.
As the book delves into the experiences of women heads of independent girls' schools, it becomes evident that the ethic of care plays a vital role in shaping the educational landscape of Canada. Dawson's research showcases how these leaders establish caring relationships with their students and cultivate inclusive and supportive communities within their schools. Through their leadership styles, women heads of independent girls' schools create environments that foster individual growth, collaboration, and social responsibility.
The book also examines the systemic challenges faced by women leaders in education, highlighting the need for institutional support and gender equality. By analyzing the experiences of these leaders, Dawson provides valuable insights for policymakers, educators, and aspiring women leaders aiming to create more caring and inclusive educational institutions.
"Ethic of Care in Relation to Leadership Style and Women Heads of Independent Girls' Schools in Canada" is a must-read for anyone interested in educational leadership, gender equality, and the unique challenges faced by women in leadership positions. Patricia J. Dawson's research provides valuable insights into the ways in which the ethic of care influences the leadership styles of women heads of independent girls' schools. It offers a call to action for educators, policymakers, and society at large to recognize the importance of nurturing and inclusive educational environments.
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