Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Robert Macmillan

Second Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Coulter


The current dominance of women in the principal’s position in secondary schools in Tobago has fuelled questions about what the experiences are like for those women. This study investigates the experiences of female secondary school principals in Tobago and explores the challenges faced by women principals when they took the path to become school administrators. The literature examining the ways that women lead is limited, and is especially so for the ways Black women lead. By examining the experiences of women principals in Tobago, this research adds to that research and to the development of a better understanding of women’s leadership. This qualitative study analyses interviews with five female secondary schools principals who had more than fifteen years service in the teaching profession. These women worked under different administrators/principals, and themselves have been in administration for more than five years in Tobago’s system. Thus they provide insightful, well-informed information on their experiences in leadership. This study reveals that the experiences of the female principals are varied, and influenced by a number of factors as expressed in their multiple voices. However, while exploring the experiences of these female principals, common topics emerged from the interviews: principals’ joys and frustrations; career trajectory, and reasons for entering the profession; and perception of the job.



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