ERIC Number: ED199122
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug-29
Classroom Authority Management of Male and Female University Professors.
Richardson, Laurel Walum; And Others
This paper investigated whether male and female college teachers exhibit differences in the way in which they manage authority in the classroom. The hypothesis was that sex differences in classroom authority management were likely to exist for two reasons. First, female professors would have to adopt masculine sex-typed styles of interaction in order to be viewed as legitimate holders of authority in spite of their lesser female status. Second, male professors, although they hold a position which is consistent with their status as males, would experience a conflict between male authoritarian behavior and the cultural norms of a teaching culture in which accessibility to students and an interactive classroom atmosphere are expected. Data consisted of a sample of 15 female and 15 male professors at a large state university. Participants were matched with regard to academic rank, disciplinary orientation, and sex-ratio of department. The method involved interviewing participants about perceptions of their own authority, and about four common classroom management problems--inattentiveness, overt disruption, challenging competency, and lack of student participation. Findings from an analysis of questionnaire responses indicated that rank and sex were related to responses regarding management problems. At the assistant and associate levels, women used strategies that reduced their appearance of authority as they attempted to legitimate it; men, on the other hand, employed a more direct and authoritarian style in dealing with management problems. Few differences were found between men and women at the level of full professor since both used techniques that reflected their senior status. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Graduate School.; National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (New York, NY, August 29, 1980). Sponsored in part by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Sociology.