Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

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Marshall, Catherine

Robert Wendell Eaves Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy

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117 Peabody Hall
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"The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."

– Audre Lorde


Catherine Marshall's scholarly work is geared toward describing and dismantling oppressive practices. She studies the politics of education and teaches courses on qualitative methodology, gender and policy and social justice leadership. Marshall is author or editor of numerous books, including Rethinking Educational Politics; Leadership for Social Justice: Making Revolutions in Education; Designing Qualitative Research: The Assistant Principal; The New Politics of Race and Gender; and Feminist Critical Policy Analysis, Vols. I and II. Her most recent book is Activist Educators.

Marshall’s honors include: the Campbell Lifetime Achievement and Contributions Award (University Council for Educational Administration), the Politics of Education Association’ Bailey Award for Intellectually Shaping the Field; and the Willystine Goodsell Award for scholarship and activism on behalf of women and girls (from the American Educational Research Association). She has been elected to offices in the Politics of Education Association and the American Educational Research Association. Marshall also has led Leadership for Social Justice, an international scholar/activist organization pushing for more equity-oriented school leadership.

As a professor of educational leadership and policy in the School of Education, Marshall is affiliated with two doctoral programs in the School ─ Educational Leadership and Culture, Curriculum and Change.

Marshall’s research on the politics of education has revealed unwritten rules in the subcultures of state education policy actors. Her studies of the assistant principalship and on barriers to women’s opportunities in leadership have disclosed professional cultures that suppress diversity. On a more hopeful note, she writes and teaches ways to re-think education policies and her analyses of the politics of gender equity policy in Australia and in the United States have provided insights for scholar/activists advancing feminist agendas in education.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 1979 - University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A. 1974 - University of Rhode Island
  • B.A. 1969 - University of Rhode Island

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ph.D. in Education - Policy, Leadership and School Improvement

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Research Interests

  • Politics of Education
  • Social Justice
  • Gender and Education

Teaching Areas

  • Politics in Education
  • Power and the Politics of Marginalization
  • Qualitative Research Methodology
  • Gender and Education


  • EDUC 777: Gender, Policy and Leadership in Education
  • EDUC 832: Educational Politics and Policy
  • EDUC 844: Advanced Seminar and Supervised Internship in Educational Administration
  • EDUC 981: Field Techniques in Educational Research
  • EDUC 891: Power and Politics of Marginalization

Honors & Awards

  • Robert Wendell Eaves Jr. Distinguished Professorship, 2013
  • Mary Turner Lane Award for Promoting Women's Issues, 2012
  • Lifetime Achievement and Contributions to the Field Award, The Politics of Education Association’s Stephen Bailey Award, 2009
  • Lifetime Achievement and Contributions to the Field Award, the University Council for Educational Administration’s Roald Campbell Award, 2008
  • Barbara Jackson Scholars Mentor, 2004-06
  • Fellow, Center for Urban and Regional Studies, UNC-CH, 1995-present

Funded Research

  • Commissioned Policy Paper with State Superintendent Mike Ward, on Institutes for Social Justice.
  • Education Politics at the Margin - a project for understanding administrators' receptivity to outside pressures.
  • Activist Educators - a project with seven collaborators, mostly doctoral students.
  • Creator and Director of “Leadership for Social Justice,” a consortium of 150 scholars, with Ford Foundation funding, for 2001-2002; became an official AERA Special Interest Group in 2006.
  • Gender Equity Values in Education Policy: Funded by Pacific Basic Research Center.

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • University Council on Educational Administration
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • AERA Special Interest Groups: Politics of Education, Research on Women in Education, Qualitative Methodology, Leadership for Social Justice

Selected Publications


Marshall, C. & Rossman, G. (2010) Designing Qualitative Research, 5th Edition. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Marshall, C., & Oliva, M. (2009) Second Edition, Revised: Leadership for Social Justice: Making Revolutions in Education. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Marshall, C., & Anderson, A. (2008) Activist Educators. New York: Routledge.

Articles & Chapters

School Leadership and Politics (in press, for 2014) (with Darlene Ryan and Jeff Uhlenburg) in F. English, Guide to Educational Leadership and Management. Newbury Park, CA, Sage.

“Policy Inroads Under-Mining Women in Education,” (with Michelle Young). International Journal of Leadership in Education. (2013) Vol. 16 No 2 p 205-219.

“Critical Feminist Theory,” (with Michelle Young). The Handbook of Educational Theories, pp. 959-969, 2012

Surviving While Dismantling Ones' Professional Culture: The Honor/Struggle for the Feminist Academic. In Educational leadership as international social justice discourse: Navigating collaborations, carers, and challenges in a global context. Autumn Tooms and Christa Boske, (Eds) Information Age Publishing (In Press) 2009

The Theory-Policy Connections in Second Wave Feminism in the US. In a Special Issue of Discourse: Feminist Theory Influencing Education: Political and Personal Evolutions. Volume 29 No 1, December, 2008

Marshall, C. & Andre-Bechely, A. (2008). Feminism and politics: No longer for women only. In B. Cooper, J. Cibulka, & L. Fusarelli (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Education Politic/s pp. 283-310.

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