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Beginning female and male Catholic school principals in Western Australia - it's not simply a matter of gender!
eJournal of Catholic Education in Australasia (2016)
  • Debra Sayce, University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Dr Shane Lavery, The University of Notre Dame Australia
Abstract
Commencing a principalship for the first time is demanding. Not only must
beginning principals cultivate a variety of skills to effectively lead an educational
institution, they do so while at the same time experiencing the vicissitudes
associated with the newness of the role (Darish, 2006; Walker & Oian, 2006). This
study explored the leadership experiences and perceptions of thirteen beginning
Catholic school principals in Western Australia. Qualitative data were gathered
through thirteen semi-structured interviews and researcher-generated field notes.
These data were considered from the perspective of gender; seven of the beginning
principals were female and six were male. The research findings were organised
under three themes: technical and managerial skills; cultural and personal
relationships; and integration of the role of principalship with one’s self-identity.
An overview of the findings suggest that one’s gender may influence particular
challenges that beginning principals face, and hence the type of support required.
Specifically, how one addresses certain technical and managerial concerns, one’s
level of self-confidence and one’s degree of self-efficacy may be more gender
related. However, some needs and challenges appear common across both
genders, such as important considerations of familial and collegial support.
Disciplines
Publication Date
2016
Citation Information
Lavery, S., and Sayce, D. (2016). Beginning female and male Catholic school principals in Western Australia - it's not simply a matter of gender! eJournal of Catholic Education in Australasia, 3(1).