The purpose of this paper to fill a gap in the literature on “leadership” in Arab schools, which are part of a patriarchal society, specifically on the issues of principal gender and acceptance of his or her authority. Previous studies have argued that attitudes toward the school principal's role are related to culture and social structure. However, those studies did not take into account the effects of employee gender on acceptance of a male or female principal's authority. Teachers (N = 240) from 10 Arab elementary schools in northern Israel participated in this study. The Analysis of Variance-ANOVA revealed differences between teachers’ genders in the acceptance of their principals’ authority. Men and women teachers’ perceptions concerning acceptance of a man principal's authority were more positive than those of men teachers accepting authority from a women principal. When the principal was a man, men and women tended to accept his authority to a similar degree; when the principal was a woman, women tended to accept her authority more than men. We further improved and validated a specific measure of authority acceptance, by exploratory factor analysis-EFA and Confirmatory factor analysis-CFA. Implications and considerations related to gender differences are discussed.

Author Biography

Nohad A’li, Western Galilee College and University of Haifa, Israel.

Rima'a Da'as, AL-Qasemi-Academic College of Education, Israel.