Selected Factors Associated With The Career Paths Of Female School Administrators

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Educat.D.)


Educational Leadership


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate career patterns and attitudes of women administrators and how those attitudes differed from those of women teachers.Procedures. Sample selection consisted of 200 female teachers and 200 female administrators from a large, urban school district. An original instrument was developed, piloted, and used in the study in the form of a mailed questionnaire. Statistical analyses included both frequency data and the independent sample t-test.Major Findings. (1) Four major career paths were identified. The majority of respondents fell within the path of teacher - teacher on special assignment - assistant principal - principal - area or district staff. (2) Respondents agreed that women encounter unique problems both before attaining administrative positions and once in these positions. Identified problems included resistance and/or sexist remarks from male colleagues, lack of support systems, and ineffective recruitment of women. (3) The most important professional experiences identified as necessary for advancement were: previous administrative experience, advanced degree beyond requirements, influence of a mentor, and participation on committees. (4) Teacher respondents differed significantly from administrators in that they perceived greater problems for women in administration. Areas of difference were: fewer available positions, lack of community confidence in women administrators, lack of support from men and other women educators, and different job definitions and evaluative criteria.Major Conclusions. Problems unique to women are evident in the attainment of and successful performance in administrative positions.There is greater opportunity for entry into administration from the position of teacher on special assignment.Women teachers perceive greater problems for women in administration than women administrators do.


Education, Administration

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