ERIC Number: ED453599
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr-10
Reference Count: N/A
Female Leadership and the Ethic of Care: Three Case Studies.
Kropiewnicki, Mary I.; Shapiro, Joan P.
A study explored the ethical framework of care as a leadership attribute in three female principals at an elementary school, a junior high school, and a high school in northeast Pennsylvania. Recent studies of educational administrators reveal that new leadership models and attributes, identified as the ethic of care, are emerging among both male and female administrators. Carol Gilligan and others demonstrate that there is a continuing need to conduct research regarding the experiences of women. This is the case in educational administration, in part because of a lack of research despite the growing numbers of women in administrative positions. Extended interviews explored four guiding questions related to extending the ethic of care to females in the male sex-typed role of the principal, transferring the personal ethic of care to the professional sphere, enacting the ethic in making decisions, and maintaining the ethic in the bureaucratic structure of schools. The nature of this study is inductive, and the data are provided in descriptive case-study format using the principals' answers to questions derived from the guiding themes. Data from the state regarding the principals were added to those gathered from four interviews of principals and their staffs. Constant comparative analysis was used to identify patterns, code data, and categorize findings. The ethic of care was found in all three principals and was revealed in such areas as teaching, learning, dedication to students, efforts to create child-centered schools, empowering others, listening, and resolving difficult conflicts fairly. The research indicates that female leaders tend to utilize ethical perspectives of care and responsibility, in varying degrees, when dealing with children and adults at schools. (Contains 43 references.) (TEJ)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Administrator Characteristics, Administrator Effectiveness, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Females, Feminist Criticism, Gender Issues, Moral Values, Principals, Sex Differences, Sex Stereotypes, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Women Administrators
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A