High School Administrator Gender and the Impact on School Factors



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Female representation in leadership position around the country is on the rise. More and more females hold CEO positions, political leadership, and partnerships in law firms, fields typically dominated by males. It would seem only natural that females would continue to rise as leaders in fields traditionally dominated by women, a field such as education. However, the number of female leaders in education (principals and administrators) has remained stagnant over the years. While over 80% of the educational workforce is female, women hold and average of just over 5 0% of leadership positions. The purpose of the current study was to explore this phenomenon by examining the differences between female and male leaders. This research sought to determine how the perceptions of teachers and principals, across the nation, differ according to principal and teacher gender. This study specifically investigated perceptions of teachers and principals in the areas of principal support, school climate, and school problems. Principal and teacher questionnaires completed as part of the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) were examined using an ANCOVA analysis. The purpose of an ANCOVA analysis was to hold constant covariates that might influence teacher and principal perceptions such as school demographics, school location, urbanicity, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Although the study found no significant difference in teacher or principal perceptions of leadership effectiveness based on teacher or principal gender, several strong correlations were found within the research variables of principal support, school climate, and school problems, and the covariates that were held constant. The results of the study suggest that school factors, such as the covariates listed above, other than gender influence teacher and principal perceptions of educational leadership effectiveness.



educational leadership, principal gender, teacher perceptions