American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
Go
American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(7), 813-821
DOI: 10.12691/education-3-7-4
Open AccessArticle

The Experiences of Female Principals in the Gauteng Province

Michèle Schmidt1, and Raj Mestry2,

1Faculty of Education: Simon Fraser University, British Columbia

2Department of Education Leadership and Management: University of Johannesburg

Pub. Date: June 05, 2015

Cite this paper:
Michèle Schmidt and Raj Mestry. The Experiences of Female Principals in the Gauteng Province. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(7):813-821. doi: 10.12691/education-3-7-4

Abstract

Gender bias towards South African female principals remains a problem and compelling issue. The South African Constitution addresses gender equality, yet women still do not experience equal rights in practice. Using a theory of intersectionality, this study highlights the experiences of three Coloured South African female principals and how they negotiated various challenges and obstacles that they were faced with in their day-to-day running of their schools. Using openended questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, it was found that the principals’ strong upbringing and family support, and sound educational background paved the way for them to become effective leaders despite numerous challenges. The results provide a significant contribution to the small body of literature employing intersectionality theory as well as the literature around female principals’ experiences in South Africa. Sub-intersectional themes emerged providing a deeper understanding of their experiences, challenges and successes. These contextual themes examine the impact of social networks that include family and friends as well as professionally and types of discrimination and stereotyping on their experiences as principals.

Keywords:
gender intersectionality theory principalship social capital women leadership

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

References:

[1]  Adhirkari M 2004. Hope, fear, shame, frustration: Continuity and change in the expression of Coloured identity in White a supremacist South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies, 32 (3): 467-486.
 
[2]  Bhabha H 1995. Cultural diversity and cultural differences. In B Ashcroft, G Griffiths & H Tiffin (eds).The post-colonial studies reader. New York: Routledge.
 
[3]  Blackmore J, Thomson P & Barty K 2006. Principal selection: Homosociability, the search for security and the production of normalized principal identities. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 34 (3): 297-315.
 
[4]  Bourdieu P 1986. The Forms of Capital. In J.G. Richardson (ed.), Handbook oftheory and research for the sociology of education. New York: Greenwood Press.
 
[5]  Chanee A 2014. Personal interview on Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) statistics. Johannesburg: GDE office.
 
[6]  Charmin K 2003. Grounded theory: Objectivist and constructivist methods In NK Denzin& YS Lincoln (eds.), Strategies for qualitative inquiry. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
 
[7]  Clark J 2012. Mother power in the African context: Resisting agendas through mobilizing m/other positions. Radical Psychology, 9 (2).Available at http://www.radicalpsychology.org/vol9-2/clark.html. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
 
[8]  Collins PH 1998. Fighting words: Black women and the search for justice. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
 
[9]  Collins PH 2000. Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge.
 
[10]  Cotter AM 2004. Gender injustice: An international comparative analysis of equality inemployment. Burlington, VA: Ashgate.
 
[11]  Creswell JW 2003. Research design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches and mixed methods approaches. London: Sage.
 
[12]  Crenshaw K 1989. Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory, and antiracist politics. The University of Chicago Legal Forum, 140:139-167.
 
[13]  Crenshaw K 1991. Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43: 1241-1299.
 
[14]  Cubillo L & Brown M 2003. Women into educational leadership and management: International differences? Journal of Educational Administration, 41: 278-91.
 
[15]  De Jong S 2009. Constructive complicity enacted? The reflections of women NGO and IGOworkers on their practices. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 30: 387-402.
 
[16]  Department of Education 1997. White Paper on Integrated National Disability Strategy. Availaible at http://polity.org.za/govdocs/white_papers/disability1.htm. (Accessed, 13 February 2014).
 
[17]  Department of Education 2006. Statistical overview survey. Ordinary and special education in Gauteng. Johannesburg: Gauteng Department of Education.
 
[18]  Geldenhuys J & de Lange N 2007. Career identities of first year female coloured students. South African Education, 27 (1): 117-137.
 
[19]  Greyvenstein LA 2000. The untapped human resource? An overview of women in educational management in South Africa. South African Journal of Education, 20: 30-3.
 
[20]  Gupton SL & Slick GA 1996. Highly successful women administrators: The inside stories of how they got there. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
 
[21]  Hooks b 1994. Outlaw culture. New York, Routledge.
 
[22]  Ledwith S &Colgan F 1996. Women in organizations: Challenges in gender politics. London: Macmillan.
 
[23]  Lincoln YS &Guba EG 1995. Naturalistic inquiry. London: Sage.
 
[24]  Mahlase S 1997. The careers of women teachers under Apartheid. Harare: SAPES Books.
 
[25]  Mestry R & Schmidt M 2012. A feminist postcolonial examination of female principals’ experiences in South African secondary schools. Gender and Education, 24 (5): 535-551.
 
[26]  Moorosi P 2008. Creating linkages between private and public: Challenges facing women principals in South Africa. South African Journal of Education, 27(3): 507-521.
 
[27]  Naidoo J 2004. Educational decentralization and school governance: from policy to practice. M Ed. Dissertation. Harvard: Harvard Graduate School of Education.
 
[28]  Pigford AB & Tonnsen A 1993. Women in school leadership: Survival and advancement guide book. Washington, DC: Technomic Publishing Company.
 
[29]  Shenton AK 2004. Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information, 22: 63-7.
 
[30]  South Africa 1996. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, No. 108 of 1996. Pretoria: Government Printers.
 
[31]  Trailogue (2014). The Trialogue 2014 CSI Handbook, 17th Edition. Cape Town: Trialogue Publishing.