“Boy, I wish I were a man!”: Navigating Principalship as a Woman
This case study follows Maggie, a principal of a large urban elementary school as she navigates principalship as a woman, revealing various gendered discourses along the way. Maggie recognizes gender as a factor which has an effect on her leadership and makes distinctions between male and female ways of leading. She reveals some of the barriers she faces as a female principal and refers to discourses of strength, for example, which act upon her leadership. This case study, and the teaching notes that follow, encourage both practising and prospective leaders to consider gender as a factor which impacts the daily work of elementary school principals.
Appalbaum, S. H., Audet L., Miller, J. C. (2003). Gender and leadership? Leadership and
gender? A journey through the landscape of theories. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 24(1), 43 - 51. doi: 10.1108/01437730310457320
Askehave, I., Korning Zethsen, K. (2014). Gendered Constructions of Leadership in Danish Job
Advertisements. Gender, Work and Organization, 21(6), 531 – 545. doi:10.1111/gwao.12053
Coleman, M. (2003). Gender & leadership style: the self-perceptions of secondary headteachers. MiE, 17(1), 29 - 33. doi: 10.1177/08920206030170010901
Eagly, A. H., Karau, S. J., Johnson, B. T. (1992). Gender and Leadership Style Among
School Principals: A Meta-Analysis. Educational Administration Quarterly, 28(1), 76 - 102. doi: 10.1177/0013161X92028001004
Lumby, J., Azaola, M.C. (2014). Women principals in South Africa: gender,
mothering and leadership. British Educational Research Journal, 40(1), 30-44. Doi: 10.1002/berj.3028
Oplatka, I. (2016). The Research on Gender in the Field of Educational Management: A
Journals-Based Historical Overview of an Area of Study. In: Fuller, K., Harford, J. (eds) Gender and Leadership in Education: Women Achieving Against the Odds. Bern: Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, 7 – 36.
Pittinsky, T. L., Bacon, L. M., Welle, B. (2007). The Great Woman Theory of Leadership? Perils
of Positive Stereotypes and Precarious Pedestals. In: Kellerman, B., Rhode, D. L. (eds) Women and Leadership. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 93-125.
Reynolds, C. (ed) (2002). Women and School Leadership: International Perspectives. Albany:
State University of New York Press.
Shilton, C. H. (2015). Submission to Steering Committee on Gender Wage Equality.
Ontario Principals’ Council.
Shakeshaft, C. (2006). Gender and Educational Management In: Skelton, C., Francis, B.,
Smulyan, L. (eds) The Sage Handbook of Gender and Education. London: Sage Publications Ltd, 497 - 511.
Copyright (c) 2019 Kenneth MacKinnon
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
a. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
b. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
c. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.