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Title:Gender issues as perceived by women in the process of seeking school superintendencies
Author(s):Noland, Georgia Anne Weerts
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Zodhiates, Philip P.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Education, Administration
Abstract:Historically, education has been a profession dominated by women, but few of these women rise to administrative leadership positions. This is especially true of the superintendency. Despite the fact that today women earn over 50% of the advanced degrees in education administration, they seldom become school superintendents. Of the 876 district superintendents in the State of Illinois during the 1992-93 school year, only 5.2% or 46 were women. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explain this gender gap. The research question was: What are the perceptions of women holding the superintendent's endorsement regarding the opportunities and barriers they face in making a decision to seek or not to seek the superintendency?
Nine women who held the necessary endorsement were interviewed. Three of the women were superintendents and three were searching for superintendency positions. The remaining three women did not plan to seek superintendencies. The three superintendents represented three different types of school districts. One was a superintendent in an elementary district, one in a high school district, and the last in a unit district.
The women were interviewed in person and asked to talk about their backgrounds, careers, and their lives. They were asked to discuss their support systems and barriers. They were also asked to describe the influences of mentors and role models. All of the questions asked were designed to be open-ended allowing the interviewer to probe for in-depth information. The intent was to study the perceptions of the nine women and see the issue through their eyes. The results were reported by telling the women's personal stories in a narrative format.
Once the interviews were concluded, the results were analysed and recommendations were suggested for three groups; graduate programs, women's organizations and female superintendent candidates. The results indicated fact that women could feel somewhat encouraged by this study. None of the women reported overt sexual discrimination, although some discussed gender bias.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Noland, Georgia Anne Weerts
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9522155
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9522155

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