A Study of Women Elementary School Principals Perceptions of Gender Issues

This doctoral dissertation, A Study of Women Elementary School Principals Perceptions of Gender Issues, was published in 2001, as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Denver.

Dissertations Abstracts International  (UMI No. 3020906).

In this qualitative study, Colorado female elementary school principals
shared their perceptions on gender issues related to their careers. The purpose of
the study was to research the factors and issues that lead women into and out of
school administration and to identify the gender-related factors both historically
and currently, that affect female principals. The methodology utilized
triangulated data including statewide surveys, a focus group and individual
interviews to research the topic.
The issues that surfaced during the literature review and throughout the
study focused on these key areas: background preparation of female principals,
reasons for selecting a career in school administration, career path of female
principals, gender issues in the hiring processes, gender as an issue in the roles
and responsibilities given to female principals, fair treatment of female principals,
gender issues that affect female principals professionally or personally.
The findings are highlighted by narrative vignettes of the principals, as
well as statistical findings of the surveys, tables, charts and descriptive data
presented throughout the study
The study’s intent was to determine the current status of gender-related
work issues for female principals in Colorado, to compile and publish the
collective stories o f these women and to share the findings for the purpose of
informing the public, the university preparation programs, the school districts and
women who are either already principals or considering the principalship as a
From the collective responses to the study, the perceptions of female
principals point to the following indications: Gender issues still exist for women
in school leadership positions. Gender issues are most prevalent in hiring. Gender
issues are prevalent in how the administrative position affects female principals,
both professionally and personally.
The recommendations include: Encourage more women to seek
administrative careers. Help women develop networks that will support them.
Develop strong internship and mentorship programs for aspiring administrators.
Encourage school districts to actively recruit and recommend female teachers for
administrative positions. Encourage school districts to partner with universities to
sponsor educational leadership programs to build leadership skills and provide
administrative training programs. Support gender equity instruction across all
levels of education.
This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Linda J. Floyd Gutsch
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
A Study of Women Elementary School Principals Perceptions of Gender Issues
ProQuest Dissertations Publishing
Date Published: 
Friday, August 17, 2001
Place Published: 
Publication Language: 

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