College classroom leadership practices : what gender has to do with it

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Edington, Linda Marie
McElhinney, James H.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Leadership
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The purpose of this study was to investigate and report on college classroom leadership practices and gender, race, age, and gender role orientation using the Student-Leadership Practice Inventory and the Bern Sex-Role Inventory. This study also collected data from five reflective statements. The study used three survey instruments. The respondents were college students attending a two year postsecondary institution in Indiana.The primary research question related to college students' leadership practices in the college classroom. A random sample of 13 courses were identified from the 800 courses offered for the Spring 1995 term. The total number of respondents was 187, 78 were female, 109 were male, 141 were European American, and 37 were African American. The age demographics were 30 under 20 years, 70 between 21-29, 50 between 30-39, 28 between 40-49, and 9 were over 50.The major findings of the study were as follows:1. Both male and female students most often used theleadership practice of Enabling Others to Act.2. The leadership practice of Enabling Others to Act wasdominant in all age groups.3. Both African American and European American respondents used the leadership practice of Enabling Others to Act. 4. Respondents who identified either masculine, feminine, androgynous, or undifferentiated gender role orientation used the leadership practice of Enabling Others to Act.5. Approximately half(52 percent) of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed they did not see themselves as a leader in the classroom, 78 percent agreed or strongly agreed that completing the Student-Leadership Practice Inventory helped them to think of themselves as a leader, and 77 percent strongly agreed or agreed that they will be more aware of their leader behavior having completed the S-LPI.Results of this study indicate that the leadership practice of Enabling Others to Act was the most developed leadership behavior for these college students in these classrooms and that completing the S-LPI caused students to reflect on their leadership.