Women teachers in the primary service : a study of their access to power and decision-making.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study looks at the position of women teachers in the primary service within the context of their access to power and decision-making. Use is made of socialist-feminist and labour market theories in order to develop a qualified reserve army of labour thesis which along with an analysis of the various ways in which power can be exercised, serves as a theoretical base to guide empirical research. Empirical study using historical documents and journals to trace the implications of state policy for women within education, allows plausible explanations to be made as to why women teachers in the primary service have minimal access to power and decision-making. It is suggested that women's access to power within the primary education system is obstructed by problems relating to personnel and structure within the school itself, the primary teachers' professional union, and at the level of the state. In order to overcome these problems, affirmative action is needed to promote the interests of women teachers. This needs to be pursued simultaneously with efforts to alter the power structure within the primary schools. By moving towards a more democratic form of school organisation, present inequalities in the access to, and the exercise of power, can be eliminated wi thin the primary service. To the extent that scope is left for future research to be done, especially within the theoretical context of power, this study should be viewed as being both explorative and suggestive in the issues that it has raised.