Dr Kay Fuller is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Management. She works in the Centre for Research in Educational Leadership and Management (CRELM) at the University of Nottingham. Her research interests are centred in gender in educational leadership including research on the distribution of women secondary school headteachers in the UK; women and men’s constructions of identity among school populations; and the use of a variety of feminist theories including intersectionality theory. She is a member of the international Women Leading Education network. Kay is also an elected member of BELMAS Council, research co-ordinator and co-convenor of the Gender and Leadership Research Interest Group. She is a former English teacher and Deputy Headteacher of mixed comprehensive schools, an Initial Teacher Educator in secondary English education and currently leads the MA in Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Nottingham.
In this interview, part of the Lead the Change Series of the American Educational Research Association Educational Change Special Interest Group, Dr. Fuller discusses education movements, social transformation, and impacting people’s lives. As she puts it:
We have to question the drivers of educational transformation. Is the transformation designed to align a school’s practice with the dominant discourses of the day about ‘what works’ in education? Or is it about enhancing, and possibly changing some people’s lives, by establishing a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion? Will it enable access to learning and resources? If our perspective is critical, we must find ways to support grassroots movements that clearly resist some of the dehumanising impacts of contemporary education systems. A recent research project looking at an international social media based network for women in education, #WomenEd, demonstrates its members are more concerned with why and how they do leadership than with who does leadership. They desire humane organisations that are people, family, work- life and women friendly. Organisations where everyone can thrive, not just survive. It is up to us to uncover these desires for the profession and to disseminate the findings to give others the evidence to believe this approach is possible in their own settings. It is possible for equity to sit alongside excellence in education.
This Lead the Change interview appears as part of a series that features experts from around the globe, highlights promising research and practice, and offers expert insight on small- and large-scale educational change. Recently Lead the Change has also interviewed Kristin Kew and Osnat Fellus.