Comparatrive study of a male and a female school principal: Exploring their gender related views and practices of task delegation

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Professional Development Centre, Karachi


Gender and leadership has been an area of concern for researchers working in the field of gender based educational inequalities. "Gender inequality in education constructs and, in turn, is constructed by inequalities between men and women in other spheres that intersect with education" (Subrahmanian, 2005, p. 9). The provision of equal opportunities in education has been a major concern for the researchers (Khalid & Khan, 2006; Ashraf, 2007; Aslam, 2009; Ghaffar, 2011). Ashraf (2007) has highlighted the need for developing gender equality perspective for secondary school teachers, which could ascertain the growth of students as gender-aware individuals. The present qualitative study has attempted to explore the gender related views of a male and a female school principal and their practices of task delegation through comparative analysis using Sergiovanni's (1991) framework and a gender lens. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews, observations (through shadowing), post observation discussions and document reviews. Miles and Huberman's (1992) framework guided the data analysis. The study has used gender lens to explore the analyzed data, which is then reviewed through Sergiovanni's (1991) framework. This framework helped in identifying the views symbolized as "Heart" of the leaders as key elements informing their practices presented as the "Hand". The study revealed that the "Head" that symbolizes meaning making of leadership responsibilities with a gender lens was the missing element in participants' professional repertoire as a school encompassing "hand" dimension of this framework. The key findings of the study show that the participants' practices of task delegation to male and female staff were guided by their views and past experiences of gender. It also showed that the absence of professional training on gender was the reason for their lack of insights into how gender guided their practices. The study suggests professional courses and sessions based on gender studies to build the principals' understanding of key gender constructs and how these inform their practices and demonstrate gender informed leadership. The gender informed leadership practices will hold significance in the provision of equal opportunities for male and female staff as well as students at a single school level to the whole educational system. Further, the study recommends the researchers to explore other aspects of principals' decision making such as conflict resolution, motivation and staff appraisals with a gender lens.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library