Secondary Education Principals/Superintendents
To determine if secondary principals in the Detroit Public School
System differ by gender in perceived characteristics of leadership behavior.
Ninety-four secondary principals were asked to complete the
LPI via a written request, and a total of 74 responded (80% response rate): 37
female and 14 male middle school principals and 12 female and 12 male high
school principals. In addition one principal in each category was interviewed.
No significant differences were found between males and
females or between middle and high school principals for the leadership practices
of Challenging, Modeling, or Encouraging. On the leadership practice of
Inspiring there was a significant interaction effect: For females there was no
difference between middle and high school principals but male middle school
principals had higher schools than did high school male principals. While there
was no difference by gender on the leadership practice of Enabling, the
responses of high school principals were significantly higher than those from
their middle school counterparts.
“The most obvious difference between the male and female principals in
the interviews was how they viewed their role as supportive to teachers. Male
principals spoke of policies, procedures, supplies and objectives, while females
were less concrete and spoke of teamwork, social activities, asking for input and
suggestions, staying in touch, and helping teachers with classroom
management” (p. 46).
However, the author concludes: “that there are common characteristics
between male and female principals…(and that they are)…more alike than
different from each other because few differences were found by gender (male
and female) and by grade (middle and high school) in the univariate analysis of
variance tests” (p. 51-2).