Few school superintendents in the United States are women, although many women have leadership positions in schools. This book is a feminist poststructuralist account of women aspiring to the superintendency in K-12 public school systems in the United States. It deals with issues of power, gender, and leadership and provides a framework for understanding the contemporary context of the superintendency.
The superintendency offers the most powerful and prestigious positions in K–12 public school systems. Few superintendents of these systems in the United States are women, although the majority of teachers are women and many women have leadership positions in schools. There are also increasing numbers of women in administrative preparation programs at institutions of higher education.
This study of 27 highly qualified women in top-level administrative positions in public education was designed to find out what it is like to be a woman aspiring to the executive leadership position. Research questions included: Why are there so few women superintendents when so many are qualified? What are the routes to the superintendency? What is the context of educational administration in the public school? What kinds of leaders are women who aspire to the superintendency? The research was also informed by a femininst advocacy of social change to discover how and under what conditions a more equitable distribution of superintendencies is likely to occur. A feminist poststructural framework provided the theoretical basis for the analysis of the data.
About the Author
Margaret Grogan is Dean of the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. She is coauthor (with Mary E. Gardiner and Ernestine Enomoto) of Coloring outside the Lines: Mentoring Women into School Leadership and coeditor (with Daniel L. Duke, Pamela D. Tucker, and Walter F. Heinecke) of Educational Leadership in an Age of Accountability: The Virginia Experience, both also published by SUNY Press.
Table of Contents
1. A Glance at the Evolution of the Superintendency
2. A Feminist Poststructuralist Framework
3. Routes to the Superintendency
4. Women Administrators at Work
5. Partners, Children, and Homemaking
6. Administrators with Relational and Interpersonal Perspectives
7. Approaches to Leadership: From Traditional to Feminist
8. Conclusions: Placing Women Leaders in the Foreground
Appendix 1. Design and Methodology
Appendix 2. Sample Interview Questions