Speaking Ourselves: The Intersections of Women Educators' Personal and Professional Lives


  • Leigh M. OBrien SUNY Geneseo


women educators


This paper presents findings from interviews conducted with 33 women educators working at varying levels of education and in diverse fields, and who varied in terms of age, ethnicity, race, family structure, geographic location, and sexual orientation.i Semi-structured interviews, building on variants of this question, Does who you are as person influence what you do as an educator and are there ways being an educator influences your life outside of work?, were conducted, tape recorded, and inductively analyzed. The themes uncovered suggest that women educators function as whole persons, aware of multiple intersections between their personal and professional lives. In a time of âteacher-proof,â scripted curricula, standardization, and other so-called reforms in the field of education, these findings remind us that teaching cannot be reduced to curricular guidelines and generic texts mandated from above. Rather, the diversity that teachers bring to the profession argues against a one-size fits-all model and for a contextualized pedagogy that cannot be limited to mere content dissemination.

Author Biography

Leigh M. OBrien, SUNY Geneseo

Professor, School of Education




How to Cite

OBrien, L. M. (2010). Speaking Ourselves: The Intersections of Women Educators’ Personal and Professional Lives. Current Issues in Education, 13(4). Retrieved from https://cie.asu.edu/ojs/index.php/cieatasu/article/view/659