Teaching Versus School Administration: The Choice Leadership-Skilled Women Teachers Make

Journal Article

Indicators point to a potential shortage of school administrators, as well as teachers, in the USA. Without doubt, the role of the principal has grown increasingly complex in light of greater accountability and problematical social complexities. In an effort to be proactive, the primary objective of this qualitative research study was to gain a better understanding of why leadership-skilled women teachers choose to remain in the classroom rather than seek administrative positions. Two sub-questions emerged: (a) How do leadership-skilled women teachers perceive the principalship role? And (b) What barriers related to school administration do leadership-skilled women teachers identify? Four constructs were used to analyze the data and present the findings. Under the construct of language the participants’ perceptions of the principal’s and the teacher’s role are analyzed. In the section on power, points of resistance are explored. The third section relates subjectivity to the participants’ discussion on viewing themselves in the role of the principal. Finally, the last construct of common sense assumptions addresses the topic of women as nurturers, and, more specifically, the career choices the participants would make if they were given the opportunity to make different choices. The women who participated in this study see a great divide between the role of the teacher and the role of the school administrator. In light of the growing educator shortage, one possible solution might be to restructure the job responsibilities of the principal, for instance with co-principalships.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wynn, SR; Brown, K

Published Date

  • 2006

Published In

  • National Forum of Applied Educational Research Journal