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Barriers To Educational Leadership Aspirations As Perceived By California Asian American Women Administrators (Minority, Public School)

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Purpose. The purpose of this study is to collect information that describes characteristics of Asian American women administrators in California public school system and to examine barriers to their career aspirations in educational administration. Procedure. A thirty-one item survey was mailed to 131 Asian women administrators for potential inclusion in this study. Ten items reflected Asian cultural influences and twenty-one items were from Pacheco's Perceptionnaire. Findings. Of the 118 respondents, seventy-seven were eligible to participate. They included Asian American women superintendents, associate and assistant superintendents, secondary and elementary principals, directors, supervisors, coordinators, community college administrators, and others (advisors, consultants, specialists, and managers). Description of an Asian American administrator in California public school system included the following characteristics: (1) she may be Chinese or Japanese, first or middle born, second or third generation with a non-traditional or moderately traditional cultural orientation; (2) age forty or older, married; and if she has children, they are not likely to be in age category of zero to five years; (3) employed in education ten or more years with three or four career ladder steps prior to administrative placement; (4) has masters degree or higher; (5) interested in upward mobility; (6) family is considered the most important influence on educational and career endeavors; and (7) employed in larger school districts with 10,000 average daily attendance or more. While barriers to career aspirations were identified, those items reflecting Asian cultural influences were not considered barriers. External barrier items were perceived as more serious obstacles than internal barrier items. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in perceptions of barriers between Chinese and Japanese, among respondents with differing cultural orientations, between line and staff administrators, or between those with and without further leadership aspirations. Recommendations. Future studies to include: (1) Asian American women administrators who have participated in intervention programs to recruit minorities and women into educational leadership roles and the impact of such programs on their realizations; (2) both Asian males and females in educational administration and the differences, if any, of their perceptions to leadership aspirations; (3) Asian males and females who have administrative credentials but are not in administrative positions and the reasons for their non-participation in administrative roles.

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