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Principalship and gender

Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of
in the Department of Educational Planning and Administration

The University of Zululand, 2009. / The study aims at investigating secondary school principalship with regard to gender. The focal point was to assess the effectiveness of female principals compared with male principals. The following aims were therefore formulated:
o to determine whether women principals in secondary schools are perceived by educators, school governing bodies and learners to be effective as leaders,
o to establish if women are perceived by educators, school governing bodies and learners to be more or less effective than men,
o to assess the educational environment in regard to the movement towards a culture in which female principals are treated equally to male principals in schools,
o to determine, through literature review, what constitutes effective leadership,
o to determine whether there are specific leadership styles associated with male or female principals,
o to identify barriers experienced by women who aspire to leadership positions and
o to determine if the status of being a female or male influences perceptions of female principals.
The study was based on some leadership theories such as trait, behavioural, contingency, transactional and the transformational theories. These theories served as the criteria for evaluating female school principalship versus male school principalship. The study revealed that these theories do apply to schools, that is, they really are relevant to the schools, regardless of gender. In order to address adequately the problems being investigated, the investigation was undertaken of the perceptions of educators, school governing bodies’ chairpersons, learners’ presidents and female principals regarding school principalship and gender.
The sample therefore consisted of the four above-mentioned categories. Two instruments were used for data collection: questionnaires were for the first three groups and interviews for the female principals. The study established the following problem areas: lack of school vision, interpersonal skills, conflict management skills, transformational skills and communication skills on the part of some school principals; problems experienced by female school principals which were caused mostly by male school stakeholders; and the inability on the part of female principals to impose discipline.
The data was analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. In view of the findings of the study, the researcher proffered several recommendations.
Date January 2009
CreatorsMagagula, Constance Samukelisiwe
ContributorsGabela, R.V.
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish

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