Academic journal article McGill Journal of Education (Online)

An Empirical Study of the Career Paths of Senior Educational Administrators in Manitoba, Canada: Implications for Career Development/étude Empirique Du Parcours Professionnel Des Cadres Supérieurs Au Manitoba, Canada: Implications Pour le Développement Professionnel

Academic journal article McGill Journal of Education (Online)

An Empirical Study of the Career Paths of Senior Educational Administrators in Manitoba, Canada: Implications for Career Development/étude Empirique Du Parcours Professionnel Des Cadres Supérieurs Au Manitoba, Canada: Implications Pour le Développement Professionnel

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. This paper conceptualizes queue theory (Tallerico & Blount, 2004) to discuss a mixed-methods study that determined the career patterns of senior educational administrators in public school divisions in Manitoba, Canada, compared by position, context and sex. Findings indicate that queue theory has merit for describing the career paths of senior administrators in Manitoba, but it must be qualified. Context creates labour queue stratifications based on educational level (access), the extent to which senior administrators are channeled into traditional career paths, and number of positions served overall. Context, sex and position interact to form queues based on leaves from service, and create discrepancies on the experiences of career supports and work challenges.

ÉTUDE EMPIRIQUE DU PARCOURS PROFESSIONNEL DES CADRES SUPÉRIEURS AU MANITOBA, CANADA: IMPLICATIONS POUR LE DÉVELOPPEMENT PROFESSIONNEL

RÉSUMÉ. This paper conceptualizes queue theory (Tallerico & Blount, 2004) to discuss a mixed-methods study that determined the career patterns of senior educational administrators in public school divisions in Manitoba, Canada, compared by position, context and sex. Findings indicate that queue theory has merit for describing the career paths of senior administrators in Manitoba, but it must be qualified. Context creates labour queue stratifications based on educational level (access), the extent to which senior administrators are channeled into traditional career paths, and number of positions served overall. Context, sex and position interact to form queues based on leaves from service, and create discrepancies on the experiences of career supports and work challenges.

Discussions regarding sex/gender and the superintendency recognize the persistence of the disproportionately low representation of women in the superintendency (Brunner, 2004; Glass, Bjork & Brunner, 2000; Grogan, 2000; Kachur-Reico, 2010; Reynolds, 2002; Skrla, 2003; Wallin, 2005a; 2005b; Wallin & Sackney, 2003). This finding is noticeable in Manitoba, where only 6 of the 37 public school division chief superintendents in the 2006-2007 school year were women. The sex proportions of the assistant superintendency were more equitable; women represented half (26 out of 52) of the assistant superintendents in the province. Even though intuitively one would think that those who hire superintendents draw primarily from the pool of assistant superintendents, the major drop in representation from the assistant superintendency to the superintendency illustrates that sex/gender plays a role in senior-level career advancement, either systemically or individually. Coralie Bryant (2004), executive director of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents, made three points that demonstrate the depth of the discrepancy: (a) since 2001, at the University of Manitoba alone, 66% of the graduates with a Masters in Educational Administration were women; (b) 65% of the teaching staffin Manitoba are women; and (c) 45% of inschool administrators are women. There is no lack of qualified females to warrant such a difference in representation in senior administrative appointments.

Context plays no less of a role in the career patterns of senior educational administrators in Manitoba. For example, if "urban" is defined to include the one census metropolitan area (Winnipeg) and the three census agglomerations (Brandon, Portage la Prairie and Thompson), in 2006-2007 there were only 9 urban superintendents in the province, and 28 rural superintendents. However, exactly half of the 54 assistant superintendent positions existed in urban areas. Economies of population notwithstanding, this means that there are a number of rural school divisions without an assistant superintendent's position, which nullifies the opportunity of using the position as a succession management "training ground" for career development purposes. Some significant trends also develop when sex and context are cross-tabulated. …

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