ERIC Number: ED390609
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
Sociological Factors in Rural Communities That Impact the Entrance and Upward Mobility of Female Administrators and Administrative Aspirants in Public Schools.
Hite, Steven J.; And Others
Research indicates that female teachers who attempt to enter and advance in administrative positions encounter obstacles ranging from sex-role stereotyping to direct prejudice and discrimination. While these obstacles have been researched for a number of years, there has been little focus on the barriers experienced by women in rural districts. Forty women who held administrative certificates in New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming were interviewed. It was found that religion was much more likely to be a serious barrier for rural female administrators and aspirants than for their counterparts in urban settings. Respondents indicated that the religious affiliation of the applicant, as it compared to that of the superintendent or school board members, was very likely to influence hiring and advancement decisions. In addition, the dominant religion in rural towns tended to define roles for women in very traditional ways, and being single or divorced was seen as a tremendous liability. Respondents indicated that rural communities had clear expectations of administrators in three areas: appropriate roles, personality characteristics, and physical characteristics. For a woman to engage, or attempt to participate, in a role that was seen as "male," was clearly not acceptable in rural communities. In addition, the expectation that women should be doing "female" things was strongly held by both genders in the community. Rural communities viewed women as not being "hard" enough to deal with administrative tasks such as discipline and group management and also placed a high value on physical size and stature of the applicant. Contains 39 references. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Issues Affecting Rural Communities. Proceedings of an International Conference Held by the Rural Education Research and Development Centre (Townsville, Queensland, Australia, July 10-15, 1994); see RC 020 376.