Social & Education Policy

“Leading from the middle”: Exploring stories of women working for change in PK-12 Schools

Broadhurst, C.; Locke, L.Ann; Ardoin, S.


Despite recent improvements for women within education, marginalizing policies and climates are still very present in our schools. Activism by teachers and administrators can provide potent instruments for change in PK-12 schools. This study examines how women leaders within PK-12 are working for change in their schools. We employed a qualitive research design, influenced by narrative inquiry, to examine change efforts by women leaders in PK-12 schools. Women leaders shared stories of their experiences with institutional sexism, mentoring other women, and how they are working to change institutional policies and improve educational climates. Our research provided insights on ways to lead from mid-level positions and how to navigate institutional sexism to promote gender equity within education.