Title page for ETD etd-12182006-132225

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Chabalala, William Lucky
Email luckyc@cpo.co.za
URN etd-12182006-132225
Document Title What do women teachers identify as barriers to promotion?
Degree Magister Educationis (Education Management, Law and Policy)
Department Education Management and Policy Studies
Advisor Name Title
Dr T S Phendla
  • Women teachers
  • job stress
  • job satisfaction
  • promotions
  • sex discrimination
  • identity
  • barriers
Date 2006-05-03
Availability unrestricted

This study identifies barriers to promotion for women teachers as they endeavour to attain leadership positions in schools. Like many others in South Africa, women have gained legal rights in the present democratic dispensation. Nevertheless, women teachers are still left out of formal leadership roles in schools. Patterns and practices that relegated and held women to the margins of leadership continue to contradict the democratic ideals enshrined in the Constitution.

The study explores the historical accounts which continue to marginalize women teachers from leadership, as well as the life experiences of women teachers, and seeks to discover how these accounts and experiences impact on women teachers who admire and aspire leadership roles in schools. The study is rooted in the critical feminist perspective, which frames layers of socio-political, cultural and ethical issues that did and continue to marginalize women teachers from leadership.

The researcher adopted a qualitative approach, especially inductive reasoning or narration to explore settings in schools. The research methodology helped to expose how women teachers navigate the educational, cultural or social arenas, and, most importantly, how society perceives the practice of selecting leaders in schools. However, the endeavour is to create an equitable platform for leadership in schools.

The study is based on information on gender imbalances drawn from schools in Soshanguve (Pretoria, South Africa). Interviews, questionnaires and observation were selected as data-collection instruments. Eight women teachers and eight male teachers took part in this study. Subsequently, two women principals and two male principals also volunteered to take part in this study. Participants were intentionally selected. Each participant gave informed consent in writing. Voluntary participation involves the ethical issues of confidentiality, anonymity, and privacy. The researcher observed values such as trust, respect, empathy and dignity of the participants.

The data analysis and interpretation revealed the following major themes:

  • discrimination on the basis of sex
  • stereotypes that believe that men make better managers
  • fear and lack of self-esteem
  • unavailability of structured support for women teachers.
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