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ERIC Number: ED526893
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 187
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-0033-0
Male and Female Leadership: Conversations with Middle School Principals in the Midlands Area of South Carolina regarding Their Perspectives on Gender Issues in Administration
Tindal, LaNisha C.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, South Carolina State University
Every day across this country thousands of tireless school leaders work against daunting obstacles to help educate our nation's youth (Rotherham, 2003). Educational leadership is an intricate profession. Like an elaborately woven quilt, it takes numerous hours, dedication, operational hands, an innovative thought process, a variety of threads and fabrics (teachers, parents, students, and administrators) effectively intertwined to ensure that the final product, a well-rounded student, is worthy of presentation and has his or her own stand alone value. Before developing the student and the school, however, it is necessary that the leader is competent and able to manage the school and its populace. Effective leaders look at their responsibilities holistically and not as a series of tasks and responses to various emergencies that arise in the life of a school or school district (Daresh, 2001). But, what leadership behaviors guarantee the ability to effectively lead? Does gender determine how effective a leader is and if males and females have distinguishing leadership styles that make one a more effective leader than the other? This study analyzed four (4) research questions which focused on the behaviors and role perceptions of male and female school leaders. A brief historical perspective of national and local school leadership was presented in the literature review in addition to how women's roles have transcended since the implementation of the nation's first school. Behaviors specific to women and men were compared to identify whether they assist or hinder a school leader's effectiveness. Gender perceptions and observations of school leaders by current school leaders from five (5) school districts in the midlands area of South Carolina were also investigated. The future of female administrators in South Carolina was explored, as well. The review also explored the prevalence of male administrators and the disproportionate amount of female administrators. Investigating this trend helped to build the case of whether men are considered to be the preferred leader in secondary (grades 6-12) schools therefore resulting in more male administrators in a female dominated profession. The purpose of this study was to determine distinguishing leadership behaviors of male and female school building leaders and identify if there was a difference in how they are perceived. The outcome identified critical behaviors of effective administrators and if these behaviors contributed to the trend of male dominance in administrative roles. Participants in this study included eight (8) principals from five (5) South Carolina school districts. The educational leaders selected were based in middle schools because research reflects that the disproportionate numbers of female administrators occur in secondary schools more often. Eight (8) middle schools were utilized for this study. Principals at four (4) schools were male while the other four (4) principals were female. The methodology utilized to complete this study was in-person interviews. The interview questions were partially adapted from the twelve (12) leadership characteristics necessary to be an effective leader as defined by McEwan (2003). A panel of experts, consisting of female and male district level administrators as well as one veteran school leader conducted a pilot test to verify the reliability and validity of the data collection instrument. The interviews were conducted with school building leaders who were selected based on a minimum of five (5) years educational experience, gender, and race. Interview protocol was followed throughout the process. Afterwards, all interviews were recorded, transcribed, reviewed and then coded to identify themes. Findings will be reported in tabular form, by "intertwining quotations with (the author's) interpretations" (Creswell, 2009 p. 194), and through the use of narratives. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 6; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A