Term of Award

Fall 2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

James F. Burnham

Committee Member 1

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 2

Catherine Wooddy

Abstract

The researcher's purpose in this study was to describe the perception of isolation among Georgia female school superintendents. A qualitative method was used to conduct the study. The research instrument used in conducting the study was comprised of 13 open-ended interview questions which were designed to elicit responses to the research question and subquestions. The researcher interviewed ten Georgia female school superintendents concerning their positions as female school leaders. The researcher recorded the interviews with audio tapes, had tapes transcribed by a trained transciptionist, and coded the transcripts for recurring themes and patterns. To validate her findings, the researcher enlisted the assistance of methodologist, Dr. Michael D. Richardson, who also coded transcripts. The ten Georgia female school superintendents were chosen through convenience sampling. Of the participants, 8 were Caucasian and 2 were African American. After determining the participants of the study, the researcher contacted the superintendents via telephone and e-mail to determine a convenient meeting place, date, and time. The researcher assured the superintendents that their identity would remain confidential; therefore, each superintendent was given a fictitious name, and the participants' responses were presented with the assigned name. In this study the researcher explored the superintendents' backgrounds, perceptions of isolation related to the superintendency, and the strategies that they sued to cope with isolation. All Georgia female school superintendents participating in the study acknowledged, at minimum, a modicum amount of isolation related to their positions.

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