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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN LEADERS IN THE GAMPAHA DISTRICT GOVERNMENT SCHOOL IN SRI LANKA

Abstract

Aim of this study was to explore the educational leadership experiences of women working in the Gampaha district government schools. While much research about women leadership had been carried out, very little has been undertaken in Sri Lanka. This study was in the nature of an interpretive paradigm, and qualitative research method was employed. The specific focus of this research design had emerged out to achieve following major objective: Identify the selection methods used in appointing women leaders in schools, challenges faced by women leaders in schools, leadership styles used by women leaders, and the training women leaders have undergone before taking up their leadership positions. Research data was gathered using semi-structured interview method from three principals, three deputy principals and three sectional heads from three 1 AB schools. Purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select the sample in this study. Nine educational leaders were selected since this study expected to get an in depth understanding of the study phenomenon. Data gathered were analyzed by using thematic analytical approach. This study revealed that most of the women leaders were appointed through formal selection procedures while some leaders were appointed through informal selection mechanisms. The women in the domestic sphere were found as a challenge to fulfillment of their leadership responsibilities. There was no initial leadership or management training for most of the women leaders before taking up their leadership roles. There was lack of consultation and support from higher officers and the other women leaders especially in problematic situations. Women leaders were identified with the collaborative style of leadership, the women had low self - confidence and low self esteem which inhibited them in their leadership role. It is recommended to give appropriate management training to the women leaders and build up a team leadership environment in the school.
Key Words: Woman Leadership, Educational Leadership, School Leadership, Women Leadership Experiences

For full paper: fmscresearch@sjp.ac.lk