Women teachers career advancement : an exploration of choice in context

ECCE, Foundation  [ Browse Items ]
Publication Year
[ private ] 
114 p. 
Early childhood education, Primary education, Foundation Phase, Female teachers, Career development, Senior leadership positions, Principalships, South Africa 
Series Name
This study investigates the career choices of seven female teachers in meso-level leadership positions at three Western Cape schools. It explores their decisions to apply or refrain from applying for senior leadership positions through an examination of the interplay between their leadership disposition, habitus and the field of schooling. The semi-structured interviews with the seven respondents were guided by an interview schedule informed by five key topics: respondents’ childhood socialisation; their internalised gender roles; their perceptions regarding the gendering of leadership; their career progression; and their engagement with the field of schooling. The analysis generated a grouping of participants along a continuum relating to their aspirations towards the principalship. One group aspired towards the principal position which was viewed as involving macro-level leadership incorporating decision-making and management. A second group valued a pastoral, classroom-based career, and were unwilling to relinquish this for a managerial principal position which they perceived very negatively. A third group appreciated the compromise they had reached between their pastoral-care and leadership orientation and did not aspire to the principalship for fear of losing this. The discussion draws conclusions regarding the influence of habitus, leadership disposition and the conditions of the field on these women’s career decisions. In general this study shows how these female teachers make career choices which are shaped by an internal orientation guiding their aspiration towards leadership within their situational context. 
Thesis (MEd)--University of Cape Town, 2012 
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