455 Articles
Medium 9781475812022

Finding Our Stride: Young Women Professors of Educational Leadership

R&L Education ePub

WHITNEY SHERMAN NEWCOMB

DANNA M. BEATY

KAREN SANZO

APRIL PETERS-HAWKINS

ABSTRACT: This work is grounded in the literature on women in the academy and offers glimpses into four young women professors’ experiences in the field of educational leadership. We utilized reflective practice and interpersonal communication to create a dialogue centered on three qualitative research questions that allows a window into our lives. We share our dialogue around emergent themes, rather than as a transcript of our conversations, for impact and efficiency. These themes form the foundation for ideas for change. Strategies for success are outlined: one-on-one mentor matching for new women faculty and graduate students; mandatory financial support for travel and professional development; gender and cultural sensitivity training for all faculty; an annual review of workload expectations and review of productivity tied to merit raises; institutional efforts to equalize salaries between men and women faculty; on-campus child care options; a commitment to experiment with various course delivery options to help with the work–home balance; and the study of the traditional tenure clock. We conclude with words of encouragement for young women professors and with the goal of helping universities and other faculty understand what young women professors’ experiences are like, to encourage social and policy changes aimed toward improvement and greater inclusion.

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Medium 9781475812046

The Effects of Transformational Leadership and the Sense of Calling on Job Burnout Among Special Education Teachers

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP R&L Education ePub

TAO GONG
LAURIE ZIMMERLI
HARRY E. HOFFER

ABSTRACT: This article examines the effects of transformational leadership of supervisors and the sense of calling on job burnout among special education teachers. A total of 256 special education teachers completed the Maslach Burn-out Inventory and rated their supervisors on the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. The results reveal that transformational leadership was negatively related to emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and positively related to personal accomplishment. Moreover, the present study indicates that the relationship between transformational leadership and teachers’ burnout was mediated by the sense of calling. This finding suggests that transformational leadership indirectly affects job burnout by developing a sense of calling in followers or helping them find meaning and purpose in their experiences through transformational leadership behaviors, which can ultimately protect followers from being exposed to emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and enhance the feeling of personal accomplishment.

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Medium 9781475812022

African American Women Aspiring to the Superintendency: Lived Experiences and Barriers

R&L Education ePub

ROMA B. ANGEL

JIM KILLACKY

PATRICIA R. JOHNSON

ABSTRACT: Focused on the absence of a viable population of African American women in the superintendency, this study addressed barriers described by 10 credentialed, district-level Southern women who hold advanced education degrees coupled with years of leadership experience. This phenomenological study used interview methodology to uncover the lived experiences of African American women who were positioned professionally to apply for the superintendency. A Black feminist construct was employed to interpret personal themes— early expectations, family influences, ethical beliefs, vigilant preparation—that converged with external themes—disconnection from networks, oppression, and selection processes—to reveal obstacles to applying for the superintendency. Profiles of well-credentialed African American women educators are provided.

The superintendency is a complex political position often referred to as a gender-stratified executive position (Bjork, Glass, &Brunner, 2000), with men 40 times more likely than women to advance from teaching to the top leadership position1 within a school district (Skrla &Hoyle, 1999). In a report for the American Association of School Administrators, Glass and Franceschini (2007) stated that 21% of school superintendents were female and only 2% identified as African American female. These numbers are similar to those of North Carolina, the state where this study was conducted. During the 2007–2008 school year, 12 (10.43%) North Carolina superintendents were female, and 2 (1.73%) were African American women. The numbers changed somewhat within the next 2 years, as more women were selected for the superintendency. Twenty-one women (18.26%) held the North Carolina superintendency during the 2009–2010 academic year; however, the number of African American women remained the same—2 women (1.73%) were in the position (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2009, 2011). In essence there have been very small gains in the numbers of women in the superintendency position and some indication of static growth in the numbers of African American women holding this position. This article examined the perceptions of African American women educators in North Carolina who were qualified for the superintendency but expressed varying levels of concern about seeking the position through their articulations of personal and externally imposed barriers.

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Medium 9781475812022

The Subtlety of Age, Gender, and Race Barriers: A Case Study of Early Career African American Female Principals

R&L Education ePub

GAETANE JEAN-MARIE

ABSTRACT: While all educational leaders face challenges in achieving success, African American female principals often face a unique set of challenges associated with the complexity of their gender, race, and, as examined in this study, age. This case study investigates the experiences of two highly visible, early career African American female principals who confront barriers in their pursuit of the principalship and careers as principals. The primary research question for this study is, what are the experiences of highly visible, early career African American principals in a large urban school district? Specifically, how do age, gender, and race intersect in their professional experiences? Four findings emerged from the study: first, confronting the age barrier on the journey to the principalship; second, barriers at every turn—subtle sexism and racism; third, reaching its apex—the intersection of racism, sexism, and ageism; and, fourth, transcending race, gender, and age barriers—“this too shall pass.” Furthermore, implications for aspiring leaders and leadership preparation programs are presented to explicate how African American females and women in general can challenge barriers that continue to persist in educational leadership.

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Medium 9781475811971

Preparation of Urban High School Leaders in Philadelphia Through Multiorganizational Partnerships

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP R&L Education ePub

GIRIJA KAIMAL
MARGARET BARBER
MARCIA SCHULMAN
PETE REED

ABSTRACT: Partnerships between universities and school districts are increasingly being identified as a means to overcome the difficulties of preparing the next generation of urban high school principals. This article examines the development of such a multiorganizational partnership with a large urban school district, two universities, and a national educational organization. The partnership development is analyzed against a framework of dimensions of effective collaborations. Data include interviews and observations and are analyzed using qualitative methods. Findings indicate that challenges in multi-institution partnerships are inevitable. However, the overarching focus on a common goal, defined responsibilities, authentic communication, alignment of common interests, and dynamic receptiveness to ongoing evaluative feedback enables the sustenance of an effective program.

The difficulties in preparing the next generation of urban school principals are well documented. In addition to the overall stress and overwhelming responsibilities of the position (McAdams, 1998; Pounder & Merrill, 2001; Whitaker, 2001), there is often not much financial incentive to make the move from a teaching position to the principalship (Bowles, King, & Crow, 2000; Carrigan, Brown, & Jenkins, 1999; Educational Research Service, 1998; Kennedy, 2000; Whitaker, 2001). Additionally, schools that are often most in need of the best-prepared leaders have a particularly difficult time recruiting and retaining such candidates (Whitaker, 2001). The increasing complexity of school leadership, the reform of leadership preparation programs, and the intricacies of various state licensing requirements suggest a need for more collaborative efforts to ensure that no gap exists between being licensed to lead and being ready to lead. In addition, research and policy are increasingly promoting the inclusion of partnerships in leadership preparation programs. For example, Kentucky has recently mandated that universities and districts partner in the preparation of school leaders (2008 revision of the Kentucky Administrative Regulation on principal certification). In a study of the elements of quality leadership preparation programs, LaPointe, Meyerson, and Darling-Hammond (2006) identified collaborative partnerships between universities and school districts as an exemplary feature. Universities are able to provide faculty and instructional resources, while districts help to identify potential candidates and navigate certification and placement bureaucracies (National Association of Secondary School Principals, 2007). In a study of comparing conventional preparation programs with collaborative ones, Orr and Barber (2006) found that the collaborative programs were characterized by more innovative features and yielded more positive career interest and advancement outcomes.

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