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Title: Emotional intelligence and school leadership : testing for, and evaluating the role of, emotional intelligence in a group of female secondary school leaders
Author: Cliffe, Joanne Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3590 7751
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2007
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The focus of this thesis is twofold; first it centres on females being successful and reaching leadership positions; namely female headteachers in charge of secondary schools. Initial emphasis is placed on how and why the female headteachers achieve their positions of leadership. The investigation emerged as a result of the recognition of the underrepresentation offemales in headship positions in secondary schools in England. The literature relating to educational leadership and gender cites a host of reasons for such under-representation of females in headship positions; for example, theories of masculine and feminine styles of leadership, 'invisible' barriers and gatekeepers that block promotions, a lack of role models and mentors, stereotyping and discrimination as well as limited development opportunities for women teachers. This study aims to investigate these findings. The second aspect of focus during this research is the potential impact that intelligence and in particular emotional intelligence can have on leadership. The investigation explores the possibility that there is a relationship between the females' routes to headship and the theories of intelligence. The notion that emotional intelligence can be correlated with success is well documented; such literature is explored to discover whether the theories associated with the business world also apply to education. Subsequently this study sets out to research the theories of the benefits of the intelligent use of emotions particularly in headship, which thus far appears to be an underdeveloped hypothesis in the field of educational leadership. The study addresses the following research questions: In what ways are female school leaders emotionally intelligent? In what ways does being emotioniilly intelligent help female headteachers in their leadership? Is it possible to test for emotional intelligence? In what ways does experience through life history contribute to emotional intelligence? The research questions were investigated through the contributions of a sample of seven secondary school female headteachers, from six different education authorities in England, over a five-year period. The headteachers responded to the methodical tools employed, which included two semistructured interviews that focused on their life history and then follow up questionnaires, which included: the EQ Map - an emotional intelligence questionnaire; and the Mayer Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. Through addressing the research questions and the headteachers' responses led to the findings, which informed the following conclusions: Correlations do exist between emotional intelligence and leadership competences and the headteachers in this study have been able to, knowingly or subconsciously, make intelligent use oftheir emotions. By making intelligent use of one's own emotions it is possible to challenge the gender issues associated with the under-representation of females in leadership positions. By making intelligent use of own and others' emotions, it is possible to progress on a career path to secondary school headship. Although there are many questionnaires and tests available to measure emotional intelligence, it is not possible to test, in order to arrive at one unique emotional intelligence score, which is a given certainty. Emotional intelligence develops over time and there are various factors that can impact upon an individual during a lifetime that can affect the way which intelligent use (or not) is made of emotions. The stories and experiences shared during this study, informed the life history of each headteacher. Overall, experiences through life histories contributed to the conclusion that there were similarities amongst the respondents. For example; being able to learn from personal experience, being driven to tak~ on challenges, being confident and having self-beliefand self-assurance, being competitive, being able to cope in difficult situations, being able to make good use of 'turning points', having a clear sense oftheir own identity and purpose and being motivated. Whilst this study highlights the relationship between emotional intelligence and life history, the conclusions have led to recommendations being made at several levels; individual, school and government level. Recommendations are also set out for future research, which addresses the under-representation of females in secondary school leadership.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available