ERIC Number: ED432832
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
W.W.II and the Great Gender Realignment of School Administration.
Blount, Jackie M.
The so-called "Golden Age" of women school administrators, that period from 1919 to 1950 when women held around 25 percent of county superintendencies and 10 percent of all superintendencies is contrasted to post-World War II conditions--a period during which a gender realignment in school administration occurred. Following the U.S. Civil War, county superintendencies west of the Mississippi River flourished; accompanying this expansion was a rise in the number of female county superintendents, a condition paralleled by women's attainment of other school administrative positions. However, after WWII, school administration experienced a significant period of restructuring that reaffirmed the masculine identification of the work, caused in part by schools' aggressive campaign to find employment for millions of returning veterans. These veterans, aided by the GI Bill, gained an advantage when graduate education for school administrators became an important component of school administrators' qualifications. School boards also began to look for decidedly masculine traits among male applicants to counteract the widespread fear that homosexuals occupied educational positions. The number of women county superintendents dropped from 718 in 1950 to 366 in 1970, while, at the same time, a type of hypermasculinity became associated with the superintendency. (RJM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).