ERIC Number: EJ736218
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Constructions of Diversity. Research among Staff Leaders in the Learning and Skills Sector
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v30 n2 p169-180 May 2006
This paper explores the rhetoric of engagement with diversity in post-compulsory education and discovers paucity in research-informed practice to develop that engagement among staff and leaders. The paper draws upon new and established concepts to consider how and why leadership development, linked to diversity, might be elevated to first-order constructs. The evidence base for constructions of diversity is derived from published literature and from staff respondents in recently completed research for the learning and skills sector (UK) in which the author was team member. Findings suggest that first, issues of diversity and diversity management were not of great interest to participants in the study; second, that definitions of diversity were mixed and, where considered, were viewed predominantly as issues of concern for providers located among "diverse" rather than homogenous populations; and third, where it existed, organizational action to promote diversity was episodic, and dominated by outdated concerns to monitor representativeness. Parallels are drawn between this research and studies recently completed in higher education. Research findings inform needs for researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to penetrate the performance cultures of post-compulsory education in order to pursue, with emotional intelligence and labour, the strategies required to effect action, revitalize theory, and engage iteratively with diversity.
Descriptors: Postsecondary Education, Cultural Pluralism, Leadership Training, Staff Development, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Literature Reviews, Interviews, Surveys, Focus Groups, Case Studies, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom