ERIC Number: ED405639
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
"Back Talk" from a Woman Superintendent: Just How Useful Is Research?
Brunner, C. Cryss
Although empirical research in the area of educational administration is plentiful, often it seems to be of little practical use. This paper presents findings of a study that examined the usefulness of a framework of collective solutions, or strategies for success, for women superintendents. A single-case qualitative study of one female superintendent was used to capture her reaction to the framework, which had been developed from a previous study of 12 women superintendents. The earlier study found that although women did not appear to assign importance to the fact that they were women, they articulated and carried out gender-specific strategies. The positional power of the superintendent did not eliminate the need for gendered strategies for success. Findings of the single-case study not only altered the framework, but also enhanced understanding of the original interpretations. Three of the original seven success strategies were altered. The new strategies include: (1) there are numerous approaches to balancing a role-related and a gender-related set of expectations; (2) women superintendents need to develop the ability to remain "feminine" in the ways they communicate and are heard in a masculinized culture; and (3) women superintendents should disregard the myth that they must "act like a man" while in a male role. The unchanged strategies are: (1) women superintendents need to focus on their primary purpose, which is the care of children and strict attention to their academic achievement; (2) remove or let go of anything that blocks their success; (3) remain fearless, courageous risk takers who have a plan of retreat when faced with the impossible; and (4) share power and credit with others. (Contains 27 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: This paper will be published in Brunner, C. C., Ed. Sacred Dreams: Women and the Superintendency. New York, State University of New York Press, 1998.