Term of Award
Doctor of Education in Educational Administration
Document Type and Release Option
Dissertation (open access)
Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development
Committee Member 1
Michael D. Richardson
Committee Member 2
Bryan W. Griffin
Committee Member 3
T. C. Chan
The purpose of this study was to determine what factors female high school principals and assistant principals in Georgia perceived as barriers to women entering high school principalships. The factors presented to the participants were determined by a thorough review of the literature. A survey instrument with two sections was developed. Section one consisted of 12 factors often mentioned as barriers to women entering high school principalships. These factors were rated on a Likert scale which ranged from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Participants were also given the opportunity to list any other factors they perceived as barriers. The second section included seven demographic questions. All female high school principals in Georgia were invited to participate and an equal number of assistant principals were randomly selected and invited to participate. Of the 62 female high school principals, 43 completed and returned surveys. An equal number of assistant principals also completed and returned surveys. The findings of this study indicated a majority of principals viewed seven of the 12 factors as barriers to women seeking high school principalships, while a majority of assistant principals viewed 10 of the 12 factors as barriers. About one-third of both principals and assistant principals listed other factors they perceived as barriers. Among the ones mentioned most often were the perception that women could not handle high school athletic programs and "the good old boy network." Section two indicated that the typical female high school principal was 50 to 54 years of age, was married, held an Ed. S. degree, had 11 to 15 years of classroom experience, had held her present position from 1 to 5 years, and was employed by a suburban school system in a school with a student population of 1000 to 1500. The indications for the typical assistant principal were similar to those of the principal. She was 50 to 54 years of age, was married, held an Ed. S. degree, had from 11 to 20 years of classroom experience, had been in her present position from 1 to 5 years, and was employed by a rural school system in a school with a student population of 1000 to 1500. The demographic characteristics were analyzed to determine their impact on the perceptions of the participants. None of the characteristics were found to significantly impact the perceptions of female high school principals and assistant principals in Georgia. Though the findings of this study indicated that both female high school principals and assistant principals perceived a number of factors as barriers to females seeking positions as high school principals, assistant principals held stronger perceptions for almost all factors.
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Hilliard, Jane Spires, "Barriers to Female Principals: Perceptions of Female High School Administrators in Georgia" (2000). Legacy ETDs. 503.