TENNESSEE'S MALE AND FEMALE SECONDARY PRINCIPALS: A COMPARISON OF DEMOGRAPHIC AND CAREER FACTORS

NANCY WOODY DILL, Tennessee State University

Abstract

Tennessee shares with the nation an extremely low proportion of female secondary school administrators (approximately 7 percent). Because the overwhelming majority is male, research on the principalship has typically reflected male norms. There has been no systematic study of Tennessee's secondary principals which assesses the characteristics of female secondary administrators or compares their characteristics to those of their male counterparts. This study compared data from thirty-seven female secondary principals with that from their peers, sixty-eight male administrators employed within the same systems.^ Four major objectives included: (1) the development of a demographic profile of Tennessee's male and female administrators, (2) the identification of school district characteristics likely to account for the employment of females, (3) the determination of educational and career path factors, and (4) the assessment of job satisfaction and career aspirations.^ Chi-square and t tests analyzed the effect of the independent variables of sex, race, school area, and grade level configuration assigned on demographic, school district, and career factors. Statistical significance was determined by p $<$.05. Data revealed that the large majority of Tennessee's female secondary principals have been appointed since 1980, nearly half during the past three years. Contrary to previous research findings, women in the study were more likely to be married, and women's salaries were, on the average, higher than men's. Grade level configuration assigned and ages of males and females at different stages of the career path were also explored in detail.^ Women in this study appeared most often in urban schools; men, in rural settings. While educational backgrounds of males and females did not differ significantly, women had the greater proportion of doctorates. Women spent far more years in the classroom, and both most often cited the assistant principalship as preliminary to the principalship. Women expressed career aspirations not significantly different from men's. Female job satisfaction was extremely high.^ Recommendations include state-level emphasis on recruitment and placement of females in secondary positions; local commitment to the appointment of qualified women; and women's own effort to acquire necessary qualifications and to pursue available promotions. Areas for further research were also identified. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

NANCY WOODY DILL, "TENNESSEE'S MALE AND FEMALE SECONDARY PRINCIPALS: A COMPARISON OF DEMOGRAPHIC AND CAREER FACTORS" (1987). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI8802641.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI8802641

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