An exploration into the effect of leadership behaviour of principals on school culture in selected international schools in South East AsiaLangridge, Christopher January 2016 (has links)
This study investigates the links between the leadership of school principals and school culture in international schools in South East Asia. Two main research questions shaped the study: i) To what extent, if at all, do the principals exhibit behaviours of transformational leadership? ii) How does the selected transformational principal’s leadership style and behaviour affect the culture of the schools? The study, employing mixed methods, was split into two distinct phases. Phase 1 examined the leadership styles of the principals of the selected schools using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Bass, 1998) and Phase 2 was an in-depth study of the three principals selected and their schools exploring in detail how their differing leadership values and behaviour influenced school culture. Qualitative data collected in phase 2 was through interviews, observation and the gathering of data from artefacts. The major findings of the study were: 1. Both phases of the study show that the three principals show particular behaviours of transformational leadership with different levels of display. The findings also show that the leader with the highest levels of transformational leadership is leading the school with the highest outcome scores from phase 1. 2. Although the project was designed to investigate principal transformational leadership, the three principals showed usage of various leadership styles and behaviours whilst performing their duties. 3. Context, power, trust and change are important considerations in the three principals’ leadership behaviour investigated in the project. 2 4. The principals’ perceptions of their leadership style and behaviour differed from the way that the leadership teams and other teachers saw them. 5. All three schools have different cultures. These cultures have been characterised as being ‘not rock the boat’ with School E, ‘slow and steady’ with School L and ‘the extra mile’ with School J. 6. There is a relationship between the transformational leadership behaviours of the principals and the culture existing in the three schools.
Secondary school-based Restorative Interventions : what are the perceptions and experiences of the young people who are identified as 'wrong-doers'?Cooper-Johal, Jusleen January 2016 (has links)
The historical origins of Restorative Practices (RPs) can be traced back to the Māori communities in New Zealand (Wearmouth & Berryman, 2012). In the 1980s and 1990s RPs were applied in the criminal justice sector and a decade later in the educational sector (McCluskey, Lloyd, Stead, Kane, Riddell & Weedon, 2008b). According to a large-scale survey of English schools in 2009, some 69% reported to sometimes employ RPs (Kane, Lloyd, McCluskey, Maguire, Riddell, Stead & Weedon, 2009). The benefits of using RPs in schools are that it allows the focus to be shifted from punitive approaches to providing children with learning opportunities when conflict has occurred (Hopkins, 2003). The evidence base in the United Kingdom (UK) consists largely of evaluation studies for example a study was commissioned by The Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) to measure the impact of RPs across 3 local authorities (Kane et al., 2009). The findings suggested that in 14 out of 18 schools, RPs had led to significant changes in practice, including increased positivity and reflectiveness in pupils and staff. Few research studies conducted in the UK have explored the perceptions of either the victim or ‘identified wrong-doers’ involved in RPs in school settings. Therefore the current study aimed to gain an insight into the perceptions of young people ‘identified as wrong-doers’ by school staff and who had been involved in some form of Restorative Interventions (RIs) such as a Restorative Conference (RC) or a Restorative Mediation (RM). A qualitative study was designed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). 7 participants were recruited (5 males, 2 females aged between 11 and 16) from a Secondary school. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews which were conducted between one and six weeks after the mediation or conference had taken place. The data was analysed and five master themes were created: the emotional component of being involved in the RI process; the experience of RIs as learning opportunities; the interactions between individuals before and during the RIs; the experience of feeling vulnerable and difficulties with recognising, processing and expressing thoughts and feelings. Some of these master themes directly related to the RP process and others related to the general experience of being an ‘identified wrong-doer’. Methodological issues and implications are considered. For instance, in terms of the research setting, the current study gives an indication of the elements of the RIs the participants valued (for example sharing stories) and found challenging (such as expressing their emotions). One of the implications for Educational Psychologists (EPs) could be supporting schools to employ RPs effectively to create an inclusive school environment.
Contested, multi-faceted and conceptually confused, the relationship between decentralisation and education quality is not well understood. In this thesis, I use qualitative and quantitative methods to undertake an empirical exploration of decentralisation, education quality and the relationship between them in the context of Malawi. Through semi-structured interviews, I first consider how different actors within Malawi understand decentralisation and its implementation. I find that despite stalled democratic decentralisation, a new school-based management reform (the Primary School Improvement Programme) has gone ahead, financed mainly by international donors. Whilst the reform is welcomed by communities, it fails to counter the continued pressures to centralise power by Malawi’s ruling class. To understand if education decentralisation can lead to positive outcomes despite resistance to broader decentralisation reform, I investigate the effect of the Primary School Improvement Programme (PSIP) on pre-defined indicators of education quality. Exploiting its staggered national roll out and using standard difference-in-difference estimation, I find that the PSIP improves exam pass rates, reduces school dropout and increases the availability of toilets for girls. Put simply, these findings suggest that the PSIP ‘works’, although the reliability and validity of Malawi’s school census data is questionable. Finally, I turn to a deeper examination of education quality and its relationship with the PSIP through four case study schools. I find that the PSIP impact on schools is varied; while it creates the opportunity for schools and communities to work together towards school improvement, it also fosters suspicion about the management of school grants and tension over what to prioritise to improve education quality. Parents, community members and teachers are more likely to understand education quality in terms of quantity (classrooms, learning materials, numbers of students passing exams) while policymakers are more concerned with the acquisition of skills. This disconnect undermines the coherence and alignment of the reform. Making an original theoretical contribution, I show that there is a two-way relationship between decentralisation and education quality with implications for policy.
An investigation of the attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, and understandings of school counselors in Saudi ArabiaAlotaibi, Turki January 2018 (has links)
INTRODUCTION: The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education established the 'General Directorate of Guidance and Counseling' in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia) in 1981. In 2003 approximately 4,000 school-based counsellors were working in schools in Saudi Arabia. Student counselling programmes in Saudi schools cover the areas of preventative, educational, vocational, and religious and moral counselling. Although school-based counselling is well established in Saudi Arabia there are very few studies researching school-based counselling in Saudi schools that have been identified in the literature. There is evidence to show that school-based counsellors face numerous problems in practice. RESEARCH QUESTION: The main research question for the research study is 'What are the attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, and understandings of school counsellors in schools in Saudi Arabia?' OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the study were: (1) to investigate the personal views and opinions of school counsellors working in boys' secondary schools in the research city; (2) to investigate the level of knowledge as well as the understandings of school counselling which school counsellors have; (3) to investigate the attitudes and perceptions that school counsellors bring to/have developed through their work; and (4) to investigate any cultural impacts and influences on school counsellors in Saudi Arabia. METHODS: Four qualitative research methods were employed for the research study. These were: (1) a qualitative review of the literature; (2) a qualitative autobiography; (3) keeping a qualitative research journal; and (4) qualitative semi-structured interviews. The semi-structured interviews were undertaken with twenty-four (n=24) male school-based counsellors working in secondary boys' schools located in the research city. The interview transcripts were coded and qualitative Thematic Content Analysis (TCA) was carried out in order to identify themes from the qualitative data. RESULTS: The TCA drew out six themes from the data obtained that related to stakeholders (i.e. students, parents, teachers, head teachers) within the school environment. These were: (1) negative stakeholder behavioural attitudes towards school counsellors; (2) negative stakeholder perceptions towards school counsellors; (3) a general lack of knowledge of modern school counselling practices demonstrated by the school-based counsellors; (4) dissension between school-based counsellors and other stakeholders regarding their role; (5) cultural and religious influences on Western models of school counselling; and (6) a general lack of support within and beyond the school community. CONCLUSION: A broad range of significant problems for school-based counsellors were identified in the study. These problems significantly limit the ability of school-based counsellors to deliver effective and useful school counselling services. There exists a clear and pressing need to address these problems and deficiencies in order for school-based counsellors to be able to carry out their role within the school environment.
Experiences of teacher stress and the impact on behaviours, health and well-being : a narrative inquiryWiles, Ellen January 2018 (has links)
The link between stress and the teaching profession is well-established in empirical research (Hamama, Ronen, Shachar and Rosenbaum, 2013, pp731-732; Carton and Fruchart, 2014, p246; Stoeber and Rennert, 2008, p2; Shyman, 2011, p352; Travers, 2001, p130). In fact, stress is now spoken of as a given; as an ‘inescapable aspect of teaching’ (Smith and Bourke, 1992, p31) with detrimental effects on teachers’ careers and health (Klassen, 2010, p342). Regardless of any previous theories, research and interventions, teacher stress is an issue now and linked to the high levels of staff absence and the record numbers of those leaving or planning to leave the profession (Espinoza, 2015; Precey, 2015; Lightfoot, 2016). This research therefore addresses a current issue of relevance and importance regarding the field of Education. It offers a window into the subject and provides knowledge and insight from some of those very teachers who are affected. My research is situated firmly in the qualitative paradigm (Denzin 2008) and uses a narrative inquiry to elevate and prioritise people’s stories, voices and subjective experiences. The study explores the relationship between the teacher and their environment in the experience of stress, and how this impacts on teachers’ behaviours, health and well-being. This research project and its findings contribute to the field in a variety of ways. I challenge much of the language and labelling frequenting the literature on stress, teacher stress and coping. I offer a different perspective and non-judgemental terminology to describe and understand stress-related behaviours: ‘creative–survival behaviours’ (CSB). The research also fills a gap in the teacher stress literature by incorporating the concept of trauma and posttraumatic growth. I explore how it links to my participants’ experiences as well as potentially many other teachers both nationally and internationally. In addition, this study illuminates the importance of relationships and the price that can be paid if positive, collaborative relationships are not in place. I introduce the term ‘relationship - architecture’ to reflect that relationships are the bricks and mortar when building a school. Fundamentally, my research champions the notion that just as every child matters, so does every teacher.
Low achievement in English language learning : a case study of a Chinese tier-3 university under the lens of complex systems theoryMa, Fei January 2018 (has links)
The context of current research is a tier-3 university in Ningbo China, where English education is compulsory for all students. As an English teacher working in this university for 17 years, I note that each year a large number of students have very poor performance and are struggling in English learning. My inquiry aims to find out the major reasons giving rise to their low achievement, so that a more effective intervention could be designed to help them. My literature review leads me to focus on 12 factors that are traditionally claimed to have associations with English low achievement. Meanwhile I remain open to the new factors arising during the whole research process. The priority of this research is to identify the key causal factors and reveal the nature of these factors. Through extensive reviews, I realize that English language development could be best viewed as a complex system consisting three sub-systems, i.e., the learner, the teacher and the learning environment. English low achievement is the negative emergence of this system. Plenty of contributing factors are involved in this process. They are intertwined and interactive in intricate ways. Because of this complex interaction, the outcome of learning might be more than or less than the sum of the factors. Exploring the independent factors alone cannot draw a clear picture of how low achievement is developed. Complex systems theory integrates the parts and the wholeness, therefore offers a deeper and more encompassing theoretical framework for current research. My research design is a case study with mixed methods. I purposefully selected three sample classes which represent students from three different disciplines, i.e., natural science, arts and humanities, and social science. Three tools are used to collect data, namely non-participant observation, semi-structured interview and questionnaire survey. I observed the classroom teaching of each class for two or three times, and their after-class self-learning activity for two or three times as well. In addition, I interviewed seven low-achieving and two high-achieving students from the three classes, as well as their three English teachers. Furthermore, I conducted questionnaire surveys in the three classes, and among the English teachers in this university. My findings demonstrate that there are three categories of factors in respect to English low achievement. First, the literature shows that the factors such as gender, family background and IQ have close association with academic achievement. However, the current study reveals that they are less likely to be the major causal factors for English low achievement. Second, some factors have moderate associations with the low achievement, that is, they do not play the critical roles in contributing to this learning outcome. These factors include lack of integrative motivation, peers’ adverse influence, poor learning strategies, lack of self-confidence, the problem of curriculum, and the negative attitude toward learning. Last, most importantly, this inquiry finds that four factors are likely to be the key reasons resulting in English low achievement, i.e., lack of effort, lack of interest, poor prior attainment and teacher’s adverse effect. Generally the low achievement is chiefly the result of interactions of these four factors. Under the lens of complex systems theory, it is revealed that the sub-systems consist of the learner him/herself, the teacher and the learning environment, and that the causal factors display the nature of interconnectedness and dynamism. Failure of one of them may lead to failure of dependent others. English low achievement is likely to be the result of chain reactions of multiple failing factors. In addition, the sub-systems and their constituent factors are not static, but in flux. In one time period, a factor may exert positive influence upon English learning; over time, the factor may change and exercise negative influence. In education, therefore, it is important not only to stimulate but to maintain key favourable factors in dealing with low achieving students. This inquiry draws the learning trajectories of low achievers by exploring their learning experience. Their performance is usually good at the outset of their English learning. In their secondary schools, a negative perturbation usually breaks into their academic life, which causes a butterfly effect, then, a slippery slope starts. They are stuck into the attractor of low achievement, which is difficult to escape from without external assistance. Most of them once tried to improve their performance, but failed. As a result their low achievement continues till university in which some turn the tide with the positive change of the three sub-systems. This research finds that a certain percentage of English low achievers are reversible, however it demands the concerted and persistent effort of all three parities, i.e., the learner, the teacher and the university. As far as the learner is concerned, the intervention should primarily deal with the affective variables with regard to his/her problems related to effort, interest, prior attainment and teachers.
Middle leadership in Malaysian international secondary schools : the intersection of instructional, distributed and teacher leadershipJavadi, Vahid January 2018 (has links)
This thesis examines middle leadership in four international secondary schools in Malaysia. It focuses on five main areas; roles, responsibilities, role relationships, instructional engagement and leadership involvement. Data were collected through observations, documentary analysis and 52 semi-structured interviews with four principals, 12 heads of department and 36 teachers. The empirical data indicate that the middle leaders’ roles suffer from lack of clarity, with managerial tasks dominating their job scope. Different role interpretations have led to the development of misunderstanding and uneasy relationships between and among the participants. Despite this, and in contrast to the literature, there is more coordination between the middle leaders and the senior leaders, mainly due to the nature of accountability in private international settings. The empirical findings show teaching and learning to be the most powerful feature of the four case-study schools. Among all the themes identified, lesson observations are conducted and taken seriously in all the schools. Criticisms about monitoring persist but the general trend is positive. Time constraints, as suggested by international literature, continue to hamper the work of the participating middle leaders. This thesis holds that autonomy to take and implement decisions is an essential component of distributed leadership. Broadly speaking, the empirical evidence suggests that opportunities for middle leaders and teachers to participate and influence key decisions in their schools are limited. While they claim great autonomy in the domain of the classroom, they report limited satisfactory experience outside it. The observational findings indicate four departmental models; ‘island’ & ‘shopping mall’, in which isolation prevails; ‘solar system’, with its asymmetrical balance of attention; ‘magnet’, where a few are attracted and the rest repelled, and ‘bicycle wheel’, with a hub to which all ‘roads’ lead. The main significance of this thesis is inter-sectionality, which occurs at the interface between autonomy and expertise. This model suggests that the transition from middle management to middle leadership is contingent upon the proportional provision of these two constructs. A lack of equilibrium between autonomy and expertise can influence the extent to which middle-level practitioners can be described as leaders.
This thesis presents four case studies of Head Teachers whose schools received the lowest Ofsted inspection rating of 4 – Inadequate. It examines the impact of the judgement on the individual Head Teachers, both on their career and also on their emotional lives. It considers the role of Ofsted inspection within an era of increasing accountability, and looks at the extent to which these four individuals were able to lead their schools from this failure to a more successful and stable situation, and the emotional journeys that accompanied this process. The case studies are based on a series of semi-structured interviews with the four Head Teachers over a period of two to three years after the initial inspection. Other key sources of evidence are considered, including Ofsted reports, school achievement data, and interviews with other stakeholders. The study concludes that long-term success for the school and the school leader depends upon the Head Teacher successfully managing the key stages in this emotional journey, from surviving the initial emotional crisis, through a period of emotional labour, to emotional regulation, before achieving emotionally healthy leadership. The successful navigation of this process by some of the Head Teachers enabled them to focus on key leadership practices resulting in long-term improvement. Where this journey was not successfully managed, the impact on long-term success and career advancement was considerable. Hundreds of schools each year are graded inadequate by Ofsted, with a larger number judged to be requiring improvement. The outcomes of this research have potential implications for the way that Head Teachers can be supported to improve their schools following this failure, whilst at the same time safeguarding their own emotional health and wellbeing.
Mohamad Yusoff, Salmah
This research aims to explore the experiences of counsellor educators and counselling trainees of teaching and learning group work. Group work is one of the core courses that aims to prepare trainee counsellors to be group work leaders. However, there is no specific research that explores the preparation of counselling trainees for group work practice from both trainees’ and educators’ perspectives. In this qualitative study, the counsellor educators’ and counselling trainees’ experiences of teaching and learning group work courses are explored. As a collective case study, in-depth exploratory data was collected from six group work lecturers and six groups of undergraduate counselling trainees from three Malaysian public universities and analysed using thematic analysis. The analysis highlighted three important components, which are: 1) experiential learning activities, 2) therapeutic factors in group work training, 3) personal qualities in relation to teaching and learning group work and 4) the interaction of experiential learning activities, personal qualities and therapeutic factors during the teaching and learning group work. These elements are interrelated in the process of understanding both educators’ and trainees’ experiences to promote the best practices in teaching and learning group work courses, especially for informing counsellor educators about the process of teaching and learning group work in counsellor education.
Developing anti-bullying cultures in primary schools : what can head teachers do to ensure successful anti-bullying cultures?Brewer, Lesley January 2018 (has links)
Bullying in schools is a widespread problem, attracting a great deal of interest and publicity in recent years. The negative impacts of bullying can have consequences for not just the victims, but also for the school, perpetrators and wider community members. Such consequences can be experienced instantaneously and/or at a subsequent time, often in later life. In recent years bullying has unquestionably moved into the spotlight as researchers and governments have investigated the phenomenon in greater depth. However, according to the NSPCC, it remains the top problem for children aged 11 and under contacting them and was the single biggest reason for boys calling CHILDLINE in 2015/16 (NSPCC, 2016). Bullying in primary school is, thus, of critical concern to educational policy makers and school leaders alike. Research would suggest that some schools experience more bullying incidents than others and that schools vary widely in both their approaches to and successes in dealing with the issue. Initiatives and approaches to bullying enter schools that serve particular communities, with particular experiences, individuals and histories, making them site specific. They are mediated by the practices of school leaders and are executed by staff with diverse levels of confidence, commitment and capacity. There is, thus, always variation in the ways in which practices are taken up. Even where schools profess to enact the same approaches they often meet with widely ranging outcomes for anti-bullying, as was evidenced through this investigation. This research, therefore, set out to understand what it is that more successful schools do in initiating and managing anti-bullying practices. It investigates the less frequently examined area of the effects of head teacher practices on the success of anti-bullying cultures. Set in the contexts of five diverse primary school settings, this thesis scrutinizes the approaches of head teachers as they facilitate and cultivate practices that enable or constrain anti-bullying cultures. It utilizes a mixed methods approach, where questionnaires, observations and semi-structured interviews and focus groups enable the voices and experiences of school community members to be heard. To facilitate this the methodological approach began as one that combined the lenses of Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model (1979) and Lave and Wenger’s Communities of Practice (1991). However, it evolved to look beyond the latter and to incorporate the work of Kemmis and Grootenboer’s Practice Architectures which champions a dual purpose of education: to help people live well in a world worth living in (Kemmis and Gootenboer, 2008), suggesting a social justice approach to this research. This is an aspect that, until recently, was generally omitted in the discourses surrounding the nature, efficiency and sustainability of developing anti-bullying cultures’ in primary schools. I show that, in successful anti-bullying schools, although policy and targeted intervention are vital for providing focus and understanding, there is a culture of respect, care and collaboration that pervades the sayings, doings and relatings at every level. I argue that head teachers, in shaping the cultures of their schools, are fundamental to these aspects as they maneuver the intersubjective spaces of practice architectures (Kemmis and Gootenboer, 2008). This research reinforces the need for head teachers to build upon existing practices, taking account of the histories and social and political actualities of their schools. It suggests that, taking account of these, the perceptions of players within the field may be as important as the actuality of situated practices as they unfold.
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