Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael F. Burnett


Even though the elimination of sex bias and stereotyping has been a national priority in vocational education for a number of years, many educators or administrators still hold sex biased and stereotyped attitudes about labor force participation and have a belief that there are "men's" and "women's" jobs. A study of sources affecting sex bias and sex stereotyping of vocational teachers is critical to provide more productive programs. The local school principal typically has the greatest impact on school level employment decisions because the principal is the chief executive officer or administrator of the basic unit in the school system. The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of local secondary school principals in Louisiana toward hiring vocational teachers for positions where the teacher is from the minority gender (i.e.--females as vocational agriculture teachers and males as home economics teachers). In addition, the study described the local school principals' perceptions of vocational education. The target population in this study was defined as all principals in Louisiana public secondary schools. A simple random sampling procedure was used to draw subjects for inclusion in the study. The sample size needed for representativeness was determined using Cochran's sample size determination formula (1977). The instrument used in this study was a modified version of Miller's questionnaire (1981), which was originally developed to measure the attitudes of local school administrators toward vocational education in Louisiana. The instrument was modified to determine attitudes toward hiring nontraditional gender vocational teachers as well as perceptions of vocational education. Findings of the study showed that principals were ambivalent toward hiring vocational teachers into nontraditional teaching roles. Also, principals had a positive perception of vocational education programs. Population density of the geographic location was positively related to principals' attitudes toward sex equity for both genders. School size was also positively related to principals' attitudes towards sex equity for both genders. The researcher would recommend that institutions of higher learning, charged with the responsibility of preparing school principals, incorporate knowledge and promote understanding of the benefits of elimination of sex bias and sex role stereotyping.