Exploring the career paths of female principals in some Lesotho High Schools
Komiti, Moikabi Clementina
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The purpose of this study was to investigate and explore the nature of career paths of female principals in some Lesotho High Schools in order to understand opportunities and barriers to their career advancement. The key theories that underpinned the study were career development (Super, 1992) used in combination with Ribbin's (2008) stages of becoming a principal. The study made use of qualitative approaches within a narrative inquiry design. Narrative inquiry was a preferred methodology because it is the best to tell a story where the voices and perspectives of women could be gleaned. Data collection involved the gathering of personal and professional stories of eight women principals through semi-structured interview questions, which afforded the researcher an opportunity to probe for clarification in order to collect rich primary data from the participants. The findings of the study revealed that most women in the study were influenced by their families to choose a career in teaching. Barriers to female principals' career progression such as gender discrimination and lack of support and respect for female principals' authority by teachers were identified. Female principals' career progression were delayed because they sacrificed to take care of their families and professionally progressed only at later stages when the family, especially the children, had grown up. Self-confidence, self-drive, experience and qualifications were identified as enabling motors for women who actively sought promotion. Female principals who qualified for the principalship positions were reluctant to apply for the positions due to lack of confidence. The study concludes that a review of the current policies is done; proper implementation strategies be adopted for equal opportunities for career advancement and employment for both men and women in Lesotho schools. The study recommends that similar studies should be conducted in other districts in Lesotho in order to understand and appreciate the nature of female teachers' career progression.
- Education