Management Practices/Styles of Female Headteachers and their influences on School effectiveness: The case of selected Basic Schools of Solwezi District

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Salukatula, Rose Mulemba
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The subject of female head teachers' management practices appears to be a very topical issue with different views among stakeholders (educationists, teachers, parents, pupils). Consequently, the management practices of female head teachers and their influence on school effectiveness is not only just a source of much speculation, and a topic on which different views are expressed, but it is also a subject on which what is usually said or done may be based on mere assumption, and is often the result of emotion and prejudice. The intention of this study was to examine female head teachers' management practices and their effectiveness. There was a perception that female head teachers were ineffective and that the schools they headed experienced administrative problems leading to ineffectiveness in the management of those schools. This perception seemed to cut across different stakeholders: parents, teachers, pupils and Ministry of Education officials. It was not clear, however, whether this perception was right or wrong. The study's findings were expected to contribute to the existing record of knowledge on the relationship between gender management practices and school effectiveness. Further, the findings would also help policy makers in making rational decisions in appointing women to managerial positions. The objectives of the study were: (i) to identify management practices/styles used by female head teachers in administering their schools; (ii) to find out how teachers, pupils, parents and female head teachers themselves perceived the management practices/styles of female head teachers; and (iii) to establish the effects of these practices on the effectiveness of their schools. The target area of the study was Solwezi District of the North Western Province. This Province was selected because of the low numbers of women in decision making positions while the District was selected because it represented urban, periurban and rural scenarios making it representative of the Province. The findings of the study revealed that the female head teachers' management practices were effective. The study also revealed that the head teachers practiced the democratic and consultative management style. However, despite female head teachers being good administrators, they were found to be harsh with their female subordinates.
Management Practices--Schools--Zambia , Female Headteachers--Management--Zambia , School Management--Zambia , School Administration--Zambia