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Exploring the perceptions of teachers on women principals in the Solomon Islands

This study explores the perceptions of teachers who have worked under female principals in the Solomon Islands. While much research on this discourse has been concentrated on developed countries, less has been done in developing countries, particularly in Melanesian society. Most literature in Melanesian countries concentrates on the experiences of women as principals, deputies, head of department, and higher education. However, nothing has explored the views of teachers who have worked under women principals in the Solomon Islands. This study is a qualitative methodology that uses the Talanoa (Pasifika research method) to support. A thematic approach was used in analysing data. The data gathering was conducted in January 2012. Interviews were conducted with nine teachers who were working under women principals. The four schools involved were urban schools centred around Honiara, the capital of Solomon islands. These four schools were chosen because all four had women principals. The four schools were a primary, two community high schools and a national secondary high school. Findings on the perceptions of teachers include the influence and effect that cultural norms had in shaping the attitudes and beliefs that teachers had as they commenced working for women principals. Secondly, the findings from the study revealed that teachers’ perceptions changed on how they viewed women principals. From the findings it was found that teachers valued and appreciated the leadership of their women principals. Female teachers even aspired for leadership because women principals became role models to them. Thirdly, the findings showed that within schools there are expectations and challenges that teachers face while under the leadership of women principals. This sometimes challenges the status of women principals and their leadership. Lastly the findings showed that there were leadership styles of women principals that were said to be effective and positive by teachers in this study. This study showed that both male and female teachers tended to appreciate the leadership and encouraged more women principals.
Type of thesis
Elisha, L. N. (2012). Exploring the perceptions of teachers on women principals in the Solomon Islands (Thesis, Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7033
University of Waikato
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