Coloring outside the Lines

Mentoring Women into School Leadership

By Mary E. Gardiner, Ernestine Enomoto, and Margaret Grogan

Subjects: Educational Administration
Series: SUNY series in Women in Education
Paperback : 9780791445822, 249 pages, May 2000
Hardcover : 9780791445815, 249 pages, June 2000

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Table of contents


Introduction to the Study

Feminist Research

Quality Mentoring Relationships for Women

Specific School Leadership Experiences

Women's Conflicts with Leadership—Washington

Mentoring for Women As Relationships of Care—Virginia

Cultivating Feminist Leadership through Mentoring—Maryland

Mentoring Relationships for Women of Color

Mentoring As a Transforming Activity

Appendix A: Description of Mentoring Pairs

Appendix B: Consent Form

Appendix C: Interview Guides



Presents new practices and ideas for mentoring women for school leadership positions.


Coloring outside the Lines critically looks at mentoring from the perspective of women who have been historically marginalized in school leadership, and grounds itself in a variety of experiences, including those of women school leaders of color. Using a feminist poststructuralist framework, the authors deconstruct the mentoring of women within the culture of K-12 public school administration in which they work. Providing arguments that mentoring has been and can be discriminatory, the authors explore it as a vehicle for transformation and change in education leadership rather than abandoning it completely.

Mary E. Gardiner Professor of Educational Leadership an the University of Idaho at Boise. She is the author of Parent-School Collaboration: Feminist Organizational Structures and School Leadership, also published by SUNY Press and School Cultures: Universes of Meaning in Private Schools. Ernestine Enomoto is Professor of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Margaret Grogan is Dean of the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of Voices of Women Aspiring to the Superintendency and coeditor (with Daniel L. Duke, Pamela D. Tucker, and Walter F. Heinecke) of Educational Leadership in an Age of Accountability: The Virginia Experience, both also published by SUNY Press.


"The extant literature in educational administration tends toward a rather unquestioned acceptance of mentoring as a benefit/panacea for the field. This book provides a balanced look at both its potentials and its downsides. While challenging conventional wisdom about mentoring, the authors do not advocate its abandonment. Rather, they provide an element of hopefulness, well grounded in their analyses, regarding mentoring's potential to bring different perspectives and emphases to what's important about leading America's schools. " — Marilyn Tallerico, author of Accessing the Superintendency: The Unwritten Rules

"The specific and sustained attention that the authors devote to the experiences of women school leaders of color is refreshing and important. The main point of the book, that mentoring relationships greatly shape women's growth in school leadership, is a critically important facet of how discriminatory practices are perpetuated or explored. " — Jackie M. Blount, author of Destined to Rule the Schools: Women and the Superintendency, 1873–1995