ERIC Number: ED395393
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Women and School Boards: Motivation for Service.
Wait, Glenda J.
Fewer women than men serve on local school boards despite the fact that female volunteers in schools outnumber male volunteers. This paper presents findings of a study that explored the barriers and facilitators to women's participation on school boards, as well as women's motivations. Data were obtained from four focus groups composed of 7-10 women each, distinguished by their different levels of involvement in the school system. The most involved group included women with actual school-board experience, and the least involved group included women who did not volunteer at schools. Indepth interviews were conducted with one woman from each focus group. All groups shared a similar motivation for running for office--the desire to make a difference in the educational system. Barriers to participation included lack of self-confidence, fear of not being taken seriously, socioeconomic factors, and the presence of young children at home. Women most likely to seek school-board office had high levels of self-esteem and personal efficacy, a family income over $50,000, older children, and previous volunteer experience; they were also between 35 and 44 years of age, well educated with college experience, dissatisfied with the education system, and not employed full-time outside the home. Three figures and the interview guide, and individual interview questions are included. (Contains 27 references.) (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 (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).