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ERIC Number: EJ938700
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1741-1432
Aspirations to and Perceptions of Secondary Headship: Contrasting Female Teachers' and Headteachers' Perspectives
Smith, Joan M.
Educational Management Administration & Leadership, v39 n5 p516-535 Sep 2011
This article reports on some of the findings of a wider, life history study of the factors affecting the career decisions of 40 female secondary school teachers, including 10 female headteachers. As a part of this, insights were sought into why women continue to be proportionally under-represented in secondary headship posts in UK secondary schools. Interview evidence indicated that the majority of female teachers in the study harboured a set of negative perceptions of school leadership and rejected headship as a career option. In this article, I contrast these negative perceptions with the positive picture of headship painted by the female headteachers. The headteachers in this study were driven by a strong sense of values relating to pupil achievement, and saw themselves as agents of change who needed to occupy positions of power in order to enact their principles to maximum effect. Drawing on the narratives of the 10 headteachers, I discuss their positive, agentic perspectives on school leadership, underpinned by essentially child-centred values. I argue that a more proactive approach to promoting this positive view of school leadership may be key to encouraging women (and presumably some men) who have previously rejected headship as a career, to reconsider. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom