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Women and educational leadership : early experiences of Tasmanian women principals


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Wood, D 1999 , 'Women and educational leadership : early experiences of Tasmanian women principals', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The research examines by means of a questionnaire survey early socialization influences upon thirty women who have reached the level of Principal in Tasmanian schools and who have become leaders in education. Their experiences and the factors influencing their career decisions were compared with twenty women teachers, working in either the same or similar schools, who have reached the top of the classroom teaching scale or AST1 level and so have the potential for further career advancement. The qualitative and quantative data were analysed using the software programme NUD-IST (Numerical, Unstructured Date, Indexing, Searching and Theorizing). Influences in the three domains of family, school and community were examined in relation to career development. The two groups were found to be different in the degree to which they impose self expectation at an early age upon themselves and were engaged in leadership activities in their local communities. While both the Principals and Teachers shared common perceptions of the expectations of others, the Principal's early expectations of themselves plus their responses to the high expectation of others, were particularly significant in their career development. The prevalent first born birth order characteristic of the women leaders noted in previous studies was not found to be significant. Both groups were influenced by inspirational teachers and generally enjoyed their schooling which helped shape their decisions to enter the teaching profession. Those who went on to become Principals were more likely to have taken advantage of the Education Department Studentship scheme and to have experienced leadership roles which had provided ''rehearsal" opportunities for career leadership. On a personal level the women leaders proved to be more proactive in their own motivation and desire for career development. Both were supported by family members whilst the Principals enjoyed a more stable, home environment. Since women comprise only a small proportion of School Principals in Tasmania, their characteristics are of particular interest in the study of women leaders in education.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Wood, D
Keywords: Educational leadership, Women school principals, Women teachers, School management and organization, Women in education
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1998 the author

Additional Information:

Thesis (MEd)--University of Tasmania, 1999. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 115-121)

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