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Issues in Educational Research, 2023, Vol 33(4), 1532-1547.
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Encouraging female teachers to become principals in Catholic composite secondary schools in WA

Maria Outtrim
Curtin University, Australia

Shane Lavery
University of Notre Dame Australia, Australia

Dianne Chambers
Hiroshima University, Japan

This study explored factors that encouraged female teachers to become principals in Catholic composite and secondary schools in Western Australia. Composite schools include both primary and secondary students. The study used a constructivist paradigm, specifically that of interpretivism and employed a symbolic interactionist perspective to explore participant experiences. The method for the study was an instrumental case study. Data were collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 14 female principals as well as the use of researcher field notes. The results indicate the importance of support from key administrators during their early years of teaching, particularly their principal and the influence of people such as colleagues or friends. Parents were a significant influence on the lives of the female participants and the way they valued themselves. The female principals were also motivated to undertake principalship by their passion for education and the desire to improve students' progress and learning.
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Authors: Maria Outtrim EdD is an experienced educational leader of over 35 years in schools and at system level. She teaches and coordinates units in educational leadership, curriculum and pedagogy at Curtin University and The University of Western Australia. Her doctoral studies are in the field of female principal leadership.
Email: maria.outtrim@curtin.edu.au

Associate Professor Shane Lavery EdD coordinates postgraduate education in the School of Education, at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Western Australia. He coordinates and teaches in courses on research design, educational leadership, and service learning, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He also supervises students within the School of Education Masters and Doctoral programs.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6626-0073
Email: shane.lavery@nd.edu.au

Professor Dianne Chambers PhD works within the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion at Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan. She teaches in courses on inclusion at undergraduate and graduate levels and supports/supervises Masters and Doctoral research students in the field of special and inclusive education. Dr Chambers also works with UNESCO and COL on various projects.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3852-6425
Email: chambers@hiroshima-u.ac.jp

Please cite as: Outtrim, M., Lavery, S. & Chambers, D. (2023). Encouraging female teachers to become principals in Catholic composite secondary schools in WA. Issues in Educational Research, 33(4), 1532-1547. http://www.iier.org.au/iier33/outtrim.pdf

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Created 15 December 2023. Last update: 15 December 2023. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]