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.
Sayce, Debra and Lavery, Shane
"Beginning female and male Catholic school principals in Western Australia - it's not simply a matter of gender!,"
eJournal of Catholic Education in Australasia:
1, Article 1.
Available at: http://researchonline.nd.edu.au/ecea/vol3/iss1/1