ERIC Number: ED392116
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Gender Filters at Work in the Administrative Culture.
Rusch, Edith A.; Marshall, Catherine
Research demonstrates that along with the usual filters for skills and competence, aspiring administrators also encounter the profession's gender filters. Gender filters appear as deeply shared understandings among female and male professional school administrators. Gender filters maintain the privilege of the dominant white male culture by silencing ideas and people that might disrupt the privilege of dominance. This paper analyzes research that examined factors in professional discourse and socialization that sustain gender filters, which exclude women and women's ways of leading from school administration. It summarizes the results of five studies conducted since 1985 and a content analysis of six professional journals. Feminist perspectives are used to explore strategies for developing and sustaining gender filters that confront privilege, that recognize the legitimacy of gender issues, and that support multiple perspectives within the culture of school administration. Findings indicate gender issues are marginal in the professoriate, in the curriculum, in classrooms, in educational administration texts, in theories of administration, and in professional literature. In summary, administrator education offers few opportunities to confront gender issues, practice complex gendered relations, or examine women's ways of leading. Women and minorities learn that their equity is not valued and that alternative ways of leading will be filtered out. A set of feminist filters that encourage the values of equity, diversity, and democratic practice for beginning administrators is offered: (1) construct a new set of assumptions; (2) male and female students should recognize their participation in the maintenance of privilege; and (3) universities must support a critical mass of feminist educators who model the new assumptive worlds. Two tables are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).