Exploring teachers’ perceptions of women principals in the Solomon Islands

Laisa Elisha, Frances Edwards


In this paper we examine the perceptions of teachers towards woman principals in the Solomon Islands, a country where women are very poorly represented in educational leadership and are not readily accepted in leadership roles. This qualitative study identifies the expectations of teachers, the influences of cultural norms on the perceptions of teachers, and in particular the influence of land tenure practices from the cultural backgrounds of individual teachers on their views of woman principals. Self-reported changes in teachers’ perceptions over time, as a result of working under the leadership of a woman principal, are described. Specific strengths and skills brought by woman principals to their leadership roles are identified and the positive influences of these women are acknowledged by teachers. This study shows that in a society that is still strongly influenced by patriarchal norms, the perceptions held by both male and female teachers of women in educational leadership can change over time.

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v19i1.65


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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015