ERIC Number: ED426787
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov-18
Images from the Field: How Directors View Their Organizations, Their Roles, and Their Jobs.
Bloom, Paula Jorde
This study examined the perceptions of early childhood center directors regarding their organizations, their roles, and their specific jobs. Data were obtained from 257 directors completing the Directors' Role Perceptions Questionnaire. The metaphoric images used in the directors' responses were analyzed to generate dominant themes in the way directors viewed their world of work and the discrepancy between their current and ideal conditions. From the directors' descriptions of their centers, several metaphorical themes surfaced (e.g., caring and nurturing, making connections, uniqueness and diversity), with no one theme characterizing more than 22 percent of the directors' responses. The metaphors directors used to describe their administrative role reflected a set of idealized expectations about their positions, their beliefs about the importance of the role, and their summary judgment about the nature of the position. Forty percent of directors referred to the multifaceted nature of the position that requires the balancing of multiple tasks and responsibilities (e.g., juggler); another 29 percent referred to the leading/guiding functions of the director's role (e.g., orchestra conductor, lighthouse). Among the metaphors describing the specific job, 50 percent related to pace and dealing with the unexpected. The most frequently cited metaphor combining these two elements was "roller coaster." The findings of the study confirm that examining the metaphors that directors use to describe their organizations, their administrative role, and their specific job is a powerful way to gain insight into the assumptions, beliefs, expectations, and personal visions individuals have for themselves and for their organizations. (Contains 26 references 10 figures, and 3 tables.) (Author/KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, November 18-21, 1998).