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Dr Laura Guihen

Dr Laura Guihen

Lecturer in Education

 Baring Court BC210


Baring Court, University of Exeter St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


I studied Education Studies and English at the University of Cambridge before completing my Masters in Educational Research at the University of Edinburgh. After completing my PGCE, I taught English in two secondary schools in the West Midlands. My PhD in Education was funded by a University studentship at the University of Leicester.

I am currently a Lecturer at the School of Education, having previously taught at the Univerity of Leicester. My main research interests include gender, educational leadership, teachers' lives and careers, and qualitative research methods. My PhD project (The Career Histories and Professional Aspirations of Women Deputy Headteachers : An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis) focused on the lived experiences and career decision making of women deputies working in English secondary schools. 


BA(Hons) (Cambridge), MSc (Edinburgh), PGCE (Nottingham Trent), PhD (Leicester), FHEA


Research interests

My research interests are located in the Sociology of Education with a particular focus on gender and educational leadership as well as teachers' lives and career decision making. 

I also have a range of methodological interests (including Intepretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), creative research methods, thematic analysis, as well as the ethics and practicalities of interviewing for research purposes).

Research projects

Women and Educational Leadership

My PhD project focused on the career histories and professional aspirations of women deputy headteachers working in English secondary schools. Employing an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology, my doctoral work explored women deputies' perceptions of the secondary headteacher role.

  • Guihen, L. (2017) ‘The Two Faces of Secondary Headship: Women Deputy Headteachers’ Perceptions of the Secondary Headteacher Role’, Management in Education, 31 (2) pp. 69-74.
  • Guihen, L. (2020) 'Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to Explore the Career Experiences of Women Deputy Headteachers', International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 43 (5), pp. 526-540.
  • Guihen, L. (2019) ‘The Career Experiences and Aspirations of Women Deputy Headteachers’, Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 47 (4), pp. 538-554.

The Support Needs of Student Mothers

This study explored the perceptions and experiences of student teachers who are mothers, and who are following the Secondary PGCE course at a UK institution. The results of this project were recently published in the Bloomsbury Handbook of Gender and Educational Leadership and Management.

  • Woodhouse, J. and Guihen, L. (2022) ‘The Missing Statistic in Initial Teacher Education: Experiences and Support Needs of Student Teachers who are Mothers’ in Showunmi, V., Moorosi, P., Shakeshaft, C. and Oplatka, I. (Eds.) The Bloomsbury Handbook of Gender and Educational Leadership and Management.

Understanding Millennials and Leadership

Seeking to further our understanding of the leadership enacted by Generation Y, I was involved in a systematic review of the literature on leadership and the millennial generation. 

  • Galdames, S. and Guihen, L. (2022) ‘Millennials and Leadership: A Systematic Literature Review’, Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 33 (1-2), pp. 146-162.

Narrative and Metaphor in Formative Feedback

This study sought to explore undergraduate students' views on narrative and metaphor in formative feedback. 

  • Watkins, D.E. and Guihen, L. (2018) ‘Using Narrative and Metaphor in Formative Feedback: Exploring Students’ Responses’, Journal of Legal Education, 68 (1), pp. 154-175.


Supervision / Group

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