Life histories of three African women school principals in the Ethekwini region.
Msane, Thokozile Patience.
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Relying on the standard conventions and techniques of life-history methodology in the Social Sciences, this study explores the professional or career histories of selected women principals in the EThekwini region. The study examines the relationship between gender and self-portrayal on the one hand, and gender and school leadership, on the other hand. Thus the central focus of the study is on the different ways in which women principals define themselves and are defined by others, especially their colleagues and the communities served by their schools. The study also looks at the ways in which key management structures such as School Management Teams (SMTs) and School Governing Bodies (SGBs) deal with the issues relating to gender equality in school leadership, management and governance. The dissertation also tackles the· complex relationship between private (personal) and professional identities and how these are constructed and continually re-constructed within the context of school management and leadership. The study is recognizably qualitative in orientation and therefore does not set out to formulate general principles about gender and school management. Instead the intention is to gain some insight into the relatively unique lives of individual women managers in education.