Attitudes Toward Women as Administrators in the Des Moines, Iowa Public Schools
Prior, Barbara Lenore
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The problem. In a profession dominated in numbers by women, few women find their way to the top. There are relatively few women in positions of leadership or administration in education. The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of the school related community toward women as administrators in the Des Moines, Iowa public schools. Procedure. Five segments of the Des Moines community were the population for this study. Sample groups were taken from: (1) students in fourth, eighth, and eleventh grades; (2) parents of children in these grades; (3) teaching faculty from the schools attended by these students; (4) present administrators in these buildings; (5) personnel from the College of Education, Drake University. Sample groups were given an opinionnaire prepared by the author and consisting of twelve statements which describe tasks, roles or characteristics of administrators. Results were tabulated and the data analyzed. Textual summaries and tables appear in numerical and percentage form for ease of interpretation. Findings. The study shows that men and women are considered equally able at public relations, at having ambition and a career commitment, at having insight into the needs of people. Women are perceived as working as well under women as under men, as being able to satisfy the community in assuming principalship of a school. Men and women are viewed as being equally able to make decisions and to organize effectively. Males are believed to be better disciplinarians by parents, students and older teachers, not, however, by the majority of the teaching faculty nor by administrators. Women are considered to be more sensitive, taking things more personally than men. Most segments of the study believed that young girls need successful women as models to emulate, and most segments also do not perceive the Des Moines schools as having a particular problem of sex bias or discrimination. Conclusion. The findings of this study, when viewed as a whole, do not show any consistent negative attitudes toward women as administrators in the Des Moines, Iowa public Schools. On most of the questions asked, men and women were regarded by the subjects as equally able to perform tasks of leedership.
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