Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Women and the superintendency: Voices of success navigating administration
by Weissman, Hillary M., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 185; 3585007
Abstract (Summary)

The most male-dominated executive position of any profession in the United States. The typical superintendent is a married, white male, between 51–55 years old. Women spend an average of 10.2 years in the classroom before seeking an administrative position; men spend an average of 5 years. The slowest of all K–12 administrative positions to integrate women and people of color. With the majority of educators being women, they are a logical source of candidates that has only marginally been activated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to reveal the narrative of women superintendents as well as to describe their perceptions of success ascending to the superintendency. If women are to seek the superintendency they will need to view the position as one that will offer them success. But what is success for women in the superintendency? How do women in this position experience it? This study probes the lived experiences of women superintendents, including significant moments in their childhood, in search of better understanding their perceptions and experiences with success. A narrative approach was used in this study to capture the essence of participants' lives along with documents and artifacts. Feminist Theory was used as the theoretical lens from which to frame the research. The data was recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. The findings surrounding female superintendents perceptions of themselves revealed four themes: identity, education, roles, and support. The findings surrounding women superintendents experiences with success is focused on relationship building and effective communication. The main conclusions drawn included aspiring superintendents need to obtain higher education degrees for advancement, site level administration and district office experience, and personal and professional support systems.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ortiz, Anna M.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, School administration
Keywords: Feminism, Feminist poststructuralism, Leadership, Narrative, Superintendent, Women administrators
Publication Number: 3585007
ISBN: 978-1-303-76556-8
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