“Boy, I wish I were a man!”: Navigating Principalship as a Woman


  • Kenneth MacKinnon Toronto District School Board


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.



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