Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Gendered Interpretation of the Roles and Responsibilities of the Women Leading American Islamic Schools
by DeCuir, Amaarah, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2014, 312; 3629607
Abstract (Summary)

Literature of educational leadership, particularly faith-based school leadership, often fails to represent the perspectives of women. Women responsible for leading American Islamic schools face an unparalleled experience due to the intersectionalities of gender, religion, race and culture that have not been captured in academic literature. This qualitative study seeks to contribute the voices of women leading American Islamic schools to the research base of educational leadership.

The study is built upon a theoretical framework connecting Islamic leadership, faith-based school leadership, and Islamic education. Together, these three concepts frame the experiences of American Islamic school leadership because they merge both Islamic principles and education priorities. This study used Eagly's (1987) social role theory as a lens through which to view the data as a gendered experience of school leadership. This includes an analysis of how social roles are communicated, stored, and transmitted within the American Islamic school communities.

Focusing on the roles and responsibilities of American Islamic school leaders, I gain insight into their daily tasks, their professional expectations, and their community relationships that impact the nature of their leadership practices. The leaders appeared to prefer transformational and collaborative leadership styles, modeled after prophetic examples, consistent with previous findings (Al-Attas, 1979; Eagly & Chin, 2010; Eagly et al., 2003).

Eagly's (1987) social role theory can be applied to the data to explain the gendered realities of women leading American Islamic schools. The study's results provided evidence that these school leaders are subject to gendered norms and expectations that are associated with both the cultural landscape of America and the religious context of an Islamic organization. Analyzing the gendered leadership experiences, I found that: (1) there was a gendered division of leadership tasks; (2) the women assumed expectations associated with nurturing and motherly roles; and (3) women faced professional and personal consequences for transgressing social roles. Consistent with Eagly's (1987) theory, these social roles are stored within community structures embedded within American Islamic schools and are transmitted through social contexts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Clayton, Jennifer
Commitee: Ehrensal, Patricia, Rashid, Hakim
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, Religious education, Gender studies
Keywords: Islamic education, Islamic leadership, Islamic school, Muslim education, Muslim school
Publication Number: 3629607
ISBN: 978-1-321-06793-4
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