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Personal profile


Melanie C. Brooks is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Leadership in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. She is a J. William Fulbright Senior Scholar grant recipient to the Philippines and has conducted research in Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, the United States, and Egypt. Her areas of expertise include school leadership, religion, culture, and conflict. At the centre of her work is an exploration of how school leaders are shaped by equity dynamics in their schools and communities. 

Dr Brooks is the author of Education and Muslim Identity During a Time of Tension: Inside an American Islamic School, published by Routledge in 2019. Based on focus groups, interviews, and observations collected over a two year period, the reader learns about a dynamic and growing Muslim community and their educational efforts to develop in their students a unique American Muslim identity. This engaging book offers a much-needed counter narrative to dominant anti-Muslim discourses prevelant in Western societies today. 

Dr Brooks' articles are published in leading education research journals, including Educational Administration Quarterly, Journal of Educational AdministrationTeachers College Record, International Journal of Educational Management, International Journal of Leadership in Education, Educational Management Administration and Leadership, Religion and Education, and Educational Policy

Dr Brooks is co-editor of three books, Urban Educational Leadership for Social Justice: International Perspectives (with Jeff Brooks) and Critical Perspectives of Black Education: Spirituality, Religion and Social Justice (with Noelle Witherspoon-Arnold), and the forthcomming Globalization, Neoliberalism, and Education: Teaching, Learning and Leading int he World Schoolhouse (with Anthony Normore, Jeffrey Brooks, and Nicola Sum). She has also contributed chapters to scholarly edited monographs and written several entries for reference works.

In 2019 she was awarded the "Bridge People" Award, in the Leadership for Social Justice Special Interest Group at the American Educational Research Association's (AERA) annual meeting for her work “creating a bridge between themselves and others” through scholarship and research.


Research interests


School leadership, management, and administration

Islamic school leadership and Islamic schooling

Religion and education

Education and culture

Education and ethno-religious conflict

Qualitative research methodology

Education/Academic qualification

International and Multicultural Education, Ph.D., Florida State University

Award Date: 1 Aug 2009

Library Science, M.L.S., University of Missouri Columbia

Award Date: 1 Jun 2003

Curriculum & Instruction, M.Ed., University of Missouri Columbia

Award Date: 1 Jun 2001

English, B.A., University of Missouri Columbia

Award Date: 1 Aug 1994

Research area keywords

  • Education leadership, management, and administration
  • Southeast Asia
  • Education and culture
  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Religion and education
  • Islamic schooling
  • Islamic school leadership


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