Leadership practices of high performing principals in selected Malaysian secondary schools : applying normative leadership modelsNorwawi, Shaharizal January 2018 (has links)
Global research suggests that successful school principals are those who apply a judicious mix of instructional, distributed and transformational models of leadership. These approaches are explicitly advocated in the Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB), the government’s main education reform document that was launched in 2013. The MEB sets out an ambitious plan for all schools to have high performing principals, and high performance is associated with these three models rather than the administrative leadership which is more common in Malaysian schools. The MEB suggests that the aspiration of placing high performing leaders in all schools can be achieved by improving and refining the selection process for new principals, and by requiring them to acquire the National Professional Qualification for Educational Leaders (NPQEL). The MEB also places a strong emphasis on instructional leadership as one of the more effective leadership approaches, which current and future principals should adopt. This thesis presents the findings from a mixed methods study designed to examine the leadership features and practices of principals deemed to be high performing, serving in selected schools in Malaysia. These principals are deemed high performing because they are recipients of two government awards, the Excellent Principals award and the New Deals award. The study examines the extent to which instructional, transformational and distributed leadership are practiced by the principals, drawing on the following data sources: interviews with three senior policymakers; documentary analysis of relevant policies and circulars and questionnaires filled in by 20 ‘high performing’ principals and their teachers. The data is further supplemented with interviews with six out the 20 high performing principals and their respective senior leadership team member and teachers. The findings suggest that principals who are deemed high performing in the selected Malaysian schools enact instructional leadership modestly compared to distributed leadership and transformational leadership. A tentative framework of core leadership practices enacted by principals who are deemed high performing, derived from the findings of this study, is presented at the end of this study.
Cheng, Wing Ming (Clement)
This thesis investigates the history of two Liberal Studies curricula in Hong Kong: Advanced Supplementary Level Liberal Studies (ASL LS) and New Senior Secondary Liberal Studies (NSS LS), which were introduced under two successive academic structures. The former follows the English Britain academic structure, with five-year junior and senior secondary, two further secondary years for matriculation, and a three-year undergraduate higher education. The latter resembles the Chinese academic structure with three years' junior secondary, three years' senior secondary and four year of undergraduate higher education. ASL LS formed part of the matriculation education curriculum and lasted for two years under the old academic structure; NSS LS is a component of a three-year senior secondary education under the new academic structure. The shift of academic structures in Hong Kong took place between 2009 and 2012, during which transition period both academic structures existed in parallel. This research has two main purposes. The first is to examine the history of the two Liberal Studies curricula. The second is to find out the key factors shaping the two curricula. The results and findings are mainly based mainly on documentary analysis supplemented by interviews with men and women who played significant parts in shaping the Liberal Studies curriculum. This historical research identifies three key overlapping stages in the development of Liberal Studies. The first stage relates to the formation and implementation of the ASL LS from 1992 to 2012. The second stage, beginning in September 2001, covers the consultation over and implementation (up to August 2014) of NSS LS. The third and comparatively short stage covers September to December 2014. This was initiated by the 79 day 'Occupy Central' and the 'Umbrella' movements in support of universal suffrage for the Legislative Council Election in 2016 and Chief Executive Election in 2017. While the predominant view in the academic literature locates the origins of Liberal Studies in the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, Legislative Council records show that ideas about liberal studies began to emerge as early as 1978. Factors shaping the Liberal Studies curriculum are also identified at international, regional and local levels. The Liberal Studies curricula is seen as resulting from the interplay of factors at all three levels, with local level factors played the decisive role.
Imoni, Raphael Isibor
There are established notions about the importance of distributed leadership in school leadership practice. Theory and research on this currently popular leadership model mostly emanate from western contexts, notably Australia, UK and the USA. It has been portrayed as an emergent model, with professionals choosing to initiate leadership in schools and classrooms. It is closely linked to teacher leadership, because distribution invariably involves teachers. This thesis focuses on leadership practice in selected secondary schools in Nigeria, from a distributed perspective. It is based on research in Edo state, using a multiple case study design. Nigeria has a centralised education system and schools tend to have a typical hierarchical structure. This raises the question about whether and how distributed leadership can operate in such a hierarchical context. The findings show that distribution occurs in the four case study schools but that it is largely allocative, rather than emergent, with school principals allocating tasks and, to a lesser extent, roles, to teachers and leaders. The case studies indicate that hierarchical distribution of school leadership can be accomplished through such allocative distributed leadership, with distribution occurring to those who occupy both formal and informal leadership roles. The research raises questions about the differences between this mode of distribution and established notions of delegation and explores this distinction. The thesis examines a globally significant leadership model and applies it to the under-published context of Nigerian secondary schools. The research is likely to be relevant to other centralised systems considering whether and how to adapt their leadership and management practice.
Transition into first-time headship is a challenge, as the new leader lets go of their former role as a teacher/deputy and at the same time prepares to adopt a new professional persona. This research explores the nature of transition as experienced by six deputies moving to be heads of independent schools which are new to them. It identifies what is distinctive about the experience and what can be learnt which may be of benefit to future generations of new headteachers and the schools they join. It focusses on the challenges inherent in making this transition, and the strategies these fledgling heads adopt as they navigate the process. Six research participants are tracked through the final months of their deputy headship and into the early months of their first headship. They simultaneously let go of their deputy role, paving the way for their successors in that role, while preparing to take on the professional responsibilities of the headteacher. Socialisation into this new role is reciprocal, as the new head affects, and is affected by, the school community they join. The new heads negotiate the tension, and attempt to find balance, between inheriting the role from their predecessor and inhabiting this role and making it their own. The time in between being appointed to headship and formally assuming the position offers these heads-elect the opportunity to begin to divest themselves of their deputy role and take on the mantle of the school leader. During this lead-in period these incoming heads devise strategies, access support, explore and experiment as they continue the process of formulating and articulating their conception of the head they hope to be, and begin their tentative steps towards realising that vision. In addition to data from semi-structured interviews, shadowing these deputies/new heads and discussion with those who worked most closely with them, and who knew them best, opened up a wider perspective on the two-way socialisation process and the nature of transition to headship.
This thesis explored teacher professional judgement as applied to the final report card process of Ontario Secondary School courses in Business, Humanities, and Social Science. A constructivist grounded theory approach was used. Twenty-four active teachers from various schools participated in semi-structured interviews and follow-up questions. How the respondents understood the use of professional judgement when determining percentage grades was analyzed. The study found that the participants personalized procedures, either independently or at the direction of the local administration, when interpreting policy into practice. These practices, although done with good intentions, were at odds with reliable and valid assessment. This phenomenon was termed Heuristic Assessment. Ontario’s revised assessment and evaluation policy Growing Success (Ontario, 2010a) placed emphasis on informed professional judgement. Although a definition was provided, how the concept works in practice was open to interpretation. Therefore, schools can apply professional judgement in numerous ways and still be in line with provincial policy if what is taught and evaluated correspond with curriculum documents. However, this study found that Ministry instructions are challenging to implement. There are tensions between how the local administration view policy, participant understanding of these guidelines, and the realities of the classroom. Furthermore, school culture consists of both shared, or public, and shadowed, or private practices. Shared and shadowed practices sometimes go with, and sometimes against, provincial policy. Consequently, participants engaged in Heuristic Assessment: they used their professional judgement to adhere to local policy in appearance, while finding ways to evaluate final report cards on their own terms. This study makes several contributions to the field of knowledge. First, we see the concept of professional judgement in Ontario evaluation practices not as an idealized definition but as teacher-created construct. Second, there was clear evidence that the province still has work to do in order to have better consistency in assessment of learning practices. Understanding gained by the research established proposals on how to further improve reporting of student learning in Ontario and other educational systems. For example, there are easier ways for teachers to explain the meaning of grades to students, parents, guardians, and other stakeholders. If professional judgement is vital to evaluation practices, then the concept should be reified to assist teachers with the assessment process. There is also a methodological contribution, as the study provided an example of how to blend the constructivist grounded theory of Kathy Charmaz with the situational analysis of Adele Clarke to educational evaluation research.
Classroom discourse with both student-led questions and feedback : enhancing engagement and attainment of students in a learner-centred Key Stage 3 science classroomMagaji, Adewale January 2015 (has links)
This study focuses on the use of student-led questions and feedback to improve students’ engagement and attainment in Key Stage 3 science. My interest in Assessment for Learning has arisen from working as a science teacher for over 9 years in several secondary schools in London and Kent. My aim has been to support Key Stage 3 science students to improve their engagement and attainment by means other than the use of science practical. The purpose of this study is to find out how students’ awareness of questions and feedback can be used to improve their engagement. This includes examining students’ contribution to the classroom discourse through developing their own questions and giving peer feedback, and assessing how this has improved their attainment. This study also sought teachers’ perceptions on the role of questions and feedback in engaging students in science lessons. This mixed methods study was inspired by a constructivist paradigm approach to learning (Creswell 2011; Savasci and Berlin, 2012). The study used six techniques of enquiry for data collection to support triangulation of my data. The students were involved in problem solving activities which led to developing their own questions using Bloom’s taxonomy question prompts and giving feedback to other students. The interaction was audio recorded to examine the quality of questions and feedback in order to ascertain how this has led to an improvement in their engagement and attainment, in addition to other data collection methods used. This study found that students were capable of developing high level questions and giving constructive feedback that will move other students’ learning forward just like their teachers aim to do. There was an improvement in the high level questions developed which influenced the quality of feedback given to other students. 98% of the students were engaged in the questions and feedback which contributed to over 92% of the students achieving their target levels in the end of unit science test. These outcomes are contributions to knowledge. Other contributions to knowledge include the new model of discourse presented in this thesis, and two factors that constitute engagement in learning. Pupil voice was a dominant factor as students were in charge of the classroom discourse which was encouraged by the questions and feedback. Some recommendations are made for professional practice and further research.
Improving health education practice in secondary school : a social ecological examination of personal and social education policy implementation processes and practice in Welsh secondary schoolsJerzembek, Gabrielle January 2014 (has links)
The effectiveness of school-based health education in changing behaviour and health outcomes is limited. This in part can be attributed to the types of classroom exchanges taking place within health education lessons. There is an evident need to examine the potential link between pedagogy and health education. This study comprises a social ecological examination of the implementation of the Welsh Government’s Personal and Social Education (PSE) policy, which seeks to promote health behaviours alongside social and economic wellbeing. A socio-ecological (SE) perspective aims to understand the different influences on practice and take into account individual, social and organisational level influences on implementation. An exploratory case study is used to examine practice in four systematically selected secondary schools from two local authorities in Wales (FSM entitlement >20% and <10%). Methods incorporate analysis of national and local policy documents, interviews with implementers at local authority (n=5) and school level (n=11), lesson observations (n=12 lessons) and pupil focus groups (n= 23 pupils). The findings suggest that a lack of clarity about how PSE should be implemented in schools seems to lead to uncertainties among implementers. These uncertainties are exacerbated by a focus on graded performance that has shaped school staff beliefs and organisational arrangements. A performance focus also re-emerges in classroom practice that is mainly characterised by a transmission of facts although some competency-focused classroom exchanges are apparent. There is some limited evidence of pupils’ understanding and generalising health knowledge and self-reported self-regulation of health behaviours.
An investigation into the inter-connectedness of trust, community engagement, school leadership and educational outcomes in English secondary schoolsGroves, Malcolm January 2014 (has links)
This thesis investigates potential connections between the development of social capital and education outcomes in English secondary schools, and particularly the influence of leadership on these. The investigation is underpinned by four themes emerging from a review of literature as gaps in current knowledge: • how social capital is activated and developed, and the role of school leadership; • whether the development of social capital can be separated from socio-economic status; • understanding the role of young people in relation to social capital in a school • examining the balancing and reconciliation of competing stakeholder demands. The resulting enquiry adopts a long-term case study approach, over two years, in three schools. It uses mixed methods, including semi-structured interviews with a range of internal and external stakeholders, attitudinal surveys, and scrutiny of relevant school documents. Drawing on grounded theory, the research methodology takes as its starting point each head’s own perception of their intent, and seeks understanding of the process and effects of change in their context. The analysis is influenced by insights from complexity theory in rejecting simple models of linear causation, drawing instead on concepts of emergence, connectedness and feedback to aid understanding. Empirical findings, whilst showing clearly the importance of context, also indicate some common strands of importance across each case. These suggest emergent new insights into the nature and place of students as leaders, blended models of connected leadership that extends beyond the school, and a more organic model of organisational growth. Those findings are crystallised into a possible theoretical model for a next stage of school improvement. This addresses the importance of families and communities in supporting the personal and social development of young people and enhancing their motivation for learning. These conclusions are, at this stage, necessarily tentative and opening up avenues for further enquiry, for which suggestions are offered.
Instructional leadership in a cross-country comparative context : case studies in English and Greek high performing secondary schoolsKaparou, Maria January 2014 (has links)
This thesis focuses on the application of the model of instructional leadership at high-performing secondary schools in England and Greece. This helped the researcher to develop a model of instructional leadership in a centralised context. A qualitative multiple case design allowed detailed data to be collected on four high performing secondary schools, using the interpretivist paradigm. The enquiry was conducted using mixed methods, including semi-structured interviews with various data sets (stakeholders) within and outside the school, observation of leadership practice and meetings, and scrutiny of relevant macro and micro policy documents. The three-layer comparative framework designed to identify the similarities and differences in leadership variables within and across the countries, shed light on the cross-case analysis of the case studies within a centralised (Greece) and a partially decentralised (England) education context. The empirical lessons from this study show that instructional leadership is implemented in different ways in diverse contexts. The findings from the two Greek case study schools are interwoven with the official multi-dimensional role of Greek headteachers, which leaves little space for undertaking instructional leadership dimensions. In the absence of such official instructional leadership 'actors', teachers' leadership has been expanding, and the research identifies aspects of informal collaborative leadership practices in Greece. In contrast, the decentralization of school activities creates the platform for the emergence of shared and distributed leadership within the English context, while various school actors have direct and indirect involvement in pedagogical leadership for school improvement. This cross-country comparative study provides new evidence about how instructional leadership is contextually bounded and inevitably influenced by the extent and nature of centralisation or decentralisation in the education system.
Warren, Sean Stephen
This thesis critiques authoritarian school policies and the pedagogic industry that overauthoritarianism has spawned to manage pupil behaviour. The overarching paradigm has been behavioural, centred on rewards and punishments. As a secondary school teacher I was deemed to be highly effective as an educator and disciplinarian by all objective measures, a no-nonsense, assertive persona championing authoritarian authority. I became disillusioned with this pedagogy of coercion and reached a point of professional ‘living contradiction’. I realised for the first time that the authoritarian teacher might actually be part of the problem, not the solution to poor discipline. I wished to develop a pedagogy in tune with my espoused values, developing positive teacher-pupil relationships which, I felt, might encourage both motivation in schoolwork and the development of pupils’ self-control and self-discipline. This thesis is an account of my intellectual and pedagogical journey to replace my authoritarian pedagogy with a way of teaching and learning based (in both directions) on respect, manners and friendly school relationships which is co-constructivist, encouraging pupils to be deeply involved in their own learning. I evidence the effect of this on classroom behaviour. I defend my relational pedagogical approach through a review of research literature alongside a three year action research with sixteen of my own classes, interrogating my performance to ask ‘Can non-authoritarian teachers contribute towards a well-ordered class of self-disciplined pupils?’ The reconnaissance stage locates this question in the context of my own educational history, the auto-biographical reflection validated through critical friends. The data collection phase used a range of instruments and reflective processes exploring how I wrestled with pedagogical issues when adopting a non-authoritarian approach, how I learned to be authoritative rather than authoritarian, and how I learned to deal with uncooperative pupils in new ways. In order to extend my new approach more broadly in the school, I worked with six volunteer colleagues, both experienced and newly qualified and I evaluate short and long term effects. I conclude by showing that effective pedagogy comes from positive teacher-pupil relationships which provide an effective solution to most low-level pupil indiscipline by establishing a culture and climate of cooperation and co-construction of learning.
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