Leadership: Perspectives in Theory and Research
In one definition it has been said that “Great Leadership is a
unique form of art, requiring both force and vision to an extraordinary
degree”. Warren G. Bennis, University of Southern
California explains a fine distinction between Management &
Leadership “Managers have as their goal to do things right.
Leaders have as their goal to do the right thing. People are
persuaded by reason, but moved by emotions, he must both
persuade them and move them”. A leader must have both the
vision and the capacity to do the right thing at the right time.
And if anything is more important to a leader it is his emotional
intelligence. The roots of morality are to be found in empathy.
Putting oneself in another place leads to moral principles. This
is the social intelligence that reads and acts to share the burden
of others (Daniel Goldman).
‘Jago' quotes Stogdill (1948) to explain the context and theory
Leadership is not only some quality or characteristic that one
possesses or is perceived to possess, it can be something that
one does. It therefore can describe an act as well as person.
Leadership does not involve the use of force, coercion or domination
and is not necessarily implied by the use of such titles as
manager, supervisor or superior. In this respect, the definition
provides a conceptual distinction between leadership processes
and motivational process, Leadership is therefore distinct
from ‘supervision' of what might be termed ‘headship'.
Jago goes on to explain that leadership is all about people
and interaction between them. The leader influences but the
recipient must permit himself to be influenced. These will
bond because of a common cause, a mission. The quality of
leadership greatly depends upon the quality of follower ship.
Leadership is an evolving dynamic process. He explains that
this does not end here. Multiple leader roles may coexist in
groups, and each leadership performing a leadership function
at that level but always converging on the overall goals or Mission
of the organization or institution. Moreover leadership is
seen as general phenomena, whereas it is also prescribed to be
contingent to situational factors. Leadership is also viewed in
terms of ‘traits' which are measurable quantifiable and observed
as overt behavioral aspect. Whereas Calder's point of view
is that leadership is a disposition of or a trait that need exist in
the perception of others, particularly of followers; and that it is
not a viable scientific, construct.
With this background we examine the educational leadership
The manner, in which an educational institution is run, is reflected
primarily in the style of leadership provided by its head.
His job has become very complicated. He has responsibilities
which include a wide range of managerial functions such as
maintenance of discipline, public relations which include not
only parents, but relations with immediate and remote officers.
He cannot afford being dubbed overbearing and haughty. He
will be required to look into faculty administrative relationship,
looking after the office-work, accounts, purchase of all sorts of
materials, maintenance of building if not more.
He symbolizes in his person all the contradictions of a transitional
society. His teachers and students bring to the campus all
the social problems and stresses to which they are exposed at
home and in society. He has to be in the mids of it.
The paper by Day et al (2007) is an interesting study that raises
the questions “What is about leadership that was effective that
certain principals performed better than average?”
A study was commissioned in 1998 by the National Association
of Head Teachers in the UK to study the principals that were
recognized as effective leaders. Subsequently a team of interviewers
visited the principals and their environment to assess
the qualities of leadership that was so effective.
The findings were multidimensional. The human side indicated
that the educational leaders were caring and emphasized the
human dimension in the management role. They placed high
premium on personal values and believed in cultural change.
They were also found to be reflective and principled. They had
displayed value-led approach and were not confined to narrow
rational or task oriented approach.
In fact the interesting finding was that ‘effective leadership'
was not an easy task, the principals had to deal with tensions
and dilemmas dealing with their day to day routine. Managing
these tensions was an important aspect of their leadership
qualities and at times of crises to remain cool and to be able to
manage the crises. The main feature of their success was their
personal values and their abilities to maintain and develop a
learning and achievement and yet deal with tensions.
They had also moved beyond a narrow rational managerial
view of their role to a more holistic, value-led approach. Their
experiences and performances played an important role. The
implication for leadership training and development was felt
strongly. There was strong link between the personal and professional
development and between the development of the
individual and the organization.
The initial step would be the definition of a learning organization.
It is an organization that acquires knowledge and innovates
fast enough to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing environment.
Learning organization create a culture that encourages
and supports continuous employee learning, critical thinking,
and risk taking with new ideas, allowing mistakes and value
employee contribution. And disseminate the new knowledge
throughout the organization for incorporation into day to day
activities. Mahoney (2000), begins his argument in support of
a learning organization by saying “leadership must exist at all
levels in an organization, regardless of size, for it to consider
itself a learning organization”. He suggests that leadership should be encouraged at all levels. The belief is basic which is that
people are the most valuable asset of an organization. He has
observed that all successful organizations are using advances
in technology and communication system and activity encourage
healthy exchanges of views and ideas at all levels. He has
used an interesting analogy to explain his view of leadership,
he says “Leadership is like playing a round of golf; it has to be
worked at. You have to take consideration of conditions, your
style of play, and your enthusiasm to improve”.
This simply means that you have to keep working to improve
your leadership qualities. The writer is of the opinion that
Myers-Briggs personality test has a great contribution to those
who want to benefit by applying the learning to their leadership
styles. It teaches you to handle the personality differences.
This he believes creates a learning organization. Listening and
trying to understand views contrary to your own can be rewarding
and sometimes frustrating. He offers his pragmatic views
through the formulae he calls RECIPE:
E= Leadership experience with responsibility
C= Courage and confidence to lead with integrity
I= To own what ‘I' am saying
P= To go for process review frequently
E = Equality of opportunity
He therefore emphasizes the personality and personal development,
but simultaneously the organizational development,
and the understanding of the need for organization and cultural
change. But the important thing is to understand your own
motivation and developed values and bond and loyalty for the
organization. The mission and vision should fit with the personal
and corporate goals. The paper by Simkins et al. examines
the issues of head teacher's role in the context of schools in
context of Pakistan. This paper examines the key variables that
may contribute to the personal efficacy of the head teachers.
There is enough evidence to support the effective leadership
is a key factor in school improvement since major research is
based on Western industrialized world. One is prompted once
again to ask would it be applicable in developing countries like
Pakistan. Would the models of good leadership developed in
the West be suited to the Pakistani environment? And yet Pakistan
also has its share of successful educational leaders and
the question then is how these leaders in Pakistani context manage
change and bring improvement. Does the experience of
the Western society suggest any preparation and this approach
the professional development of head teacher? In response to
this question three case studies of institutional heads were
studied in the city of Karachi. The purpose was to see how they
manage change in the cultural context of Pakistan.
Six head teachers were interviewed, identified, that differentiate
between school systems determine the opportunities and
constraints on schools heads in playing their role. the government
institution had a debilitating culture effect. But in the paper ‘three case studies' were presented that indicated that
the national culture was the important variable, which influence
leadership behavior. The influence was perpetuated by the
system. The paper also examined the Pakistani culture through
the findings of Hofstede. It showed Pakistan is a high power
distance culture. In such a culture subordinates exhibit a strong
sense of dependence on superiors. They also showed an admiration
of the boss who decides autocratically (Hofstede, 1991).
Thus, while national and community cultures create broad
generic frameworks of the expectations about leaders and leadership,
these are contextualized through the cultural expectations
generated and powers granted within particular school
systems and further refined through individual head teacher's
In the Pakistani scenario the head of the educational institution
is ‘doomed to function between an era which is dead and an
era which refuses to be born'. He is confronted with two explosions:
explosion of change and explosion of expectations. “We
are confronted with the greatest – revolution the world has
seen. The face of the world and its problems has been transformed
in a single generation” (Andre Malraux). “No age had
a thornier bout with relevancy than our own” (Mc Namara).
Ross and Gray (2006) conducted a study to understand the
relationship of principals with variables that were beneficial
to the schools. The reason for the undertaking of this study
was that school leaders/principals were in the end held accountable
for the performance of their institution. But through
their study of past literature it was found that there was no
direct relationship between the principals on variables such as
the achievements of students. This thus does not support the
study, but the authors drove the argument that the principals
may provide an indirect effect on the institution that promotes
good learning and positive student achievement and satisfaction.
Thus those conditions could be high teacher expectations,
student opportunity to learn and a clear mission. Henceforth
this made the case to test the case.
It was transformational leadership that was chosen to understand
whether this effect was plausible. Because, there is a
greater chance for transformational leadership to produce the
behaviors and beliefs in teachers for greater student achievement.
They described transformational leadership as having
charisma, being able to intellectually challenge others and
The Predominant Theory of Educational Leadership
The Western industrialized societies such as UK, US, Australian,
Canada and New Zealand have given credence to new models
of leadership in an educational context. ‘Transformational
leadership' has gained much ground ( Bass, 1985) and similarly
‘instructional leadership' (Southworth, 2002) which are
‘education-specific' has also raised the vision of higher quality
in education. Results indicate that principals who adopt a
transformational leadership style are likely to have a positive
impact on teacher beliefs about their collective capacity and
on teacher commitment to organizational values. Some other views that have gained are invitational, inspirational and dispersed
Examining the Quality Assurance Aspect of School Effectiveness
Newton (2002) conducted a qualitative study to understand
the impact of a quality assurance in two academic departments
and how they cope with the procedures that come along with
The author first stresses, there are some studies that challenge
the theory whether quality assurance can really be of benefit
since the many different procedures and monitoring bodies
can manage properly. The main issue comes forth is that leadership
at educational institutes are being heavily challenged.
One of the ways the leadership is challenged is that the presence
of monitoring bodies with increased accountability has lead
to mistrust and suspicion among teachers and management.
Also the author points that policy was central in his research.
Because quality objectives should be reflected in the policies
but many considerations should be taken like culture, size of
organization and strategic objectives. This is because he believes
these institutes should not be looked on from a complete
The research took place at New College to see whether accountability
and improvement can reach to a mutual agreement.
The methods used were surveys, tape records, focus groups
and external quality reports etc.
Research has not been the forte in the Pakistani educational
context. Whatever research that has taken place has been
about the system prevailing. As we have seen the research
has been on ‘top-down’ system change. Decentralization is
the prevailing norm and has proved successful in the Western
world. But this generates different issues and results in the
developing countries. The values and ‘impact of decentralization’
have not been disseminated to the implementers. There
has been no capacity generation of this awareness at any level
especially to the local managers or head-teachers.
No empowerment of Head-teachers has taken place. What has
taken place is loosened hierarchies of control or empowerment
of parents through school boards. These remain as ‘dead
horses’ with no progressive deal (Simkins et al., 2003).
An article by Hallinger and Heck explored the relationship
between principal leadership and student achievement. The
focuses are on the substantive findings that emerged from the
review. It is concluded that while substantial progress has been
made over the past 15 years in understanding the principal’s
contribution to school effectiveness, the most important scholarly
and practical work lies ahead.
The question that arises is how the new model of management
and educational leadership can be translated to Pakistan. The
concept of invitational and dispersed approach to leadership
which have gained more credence (Gronn, 1999, Stoll & Fink,
1996) need to be accepted through a process of persuasion
and convincing. There have to be some models of success and
some role models of successful educational leaders that will
open up this path.
Waseem, Mujtaba, and Shakir (2013), focusing on suggested
mechanism for producing quality research at higher educational
institutes in Pakistan State that academic research can also
boost the economy of a country. Students face many problems
while conducting academic research which must be eradicated
by focusing on a student based educational policy where
individual attention is given to students for their personal
Educational Leadership System in USA
The United States continues to manage one of the largest universal
education systems in the world. More than 75 million
children and adults were enrolled in U.S. schools and colleges
in the 2005-2006 academic year, according to the National
Center for Education Statistics.
According to U.S. Department of State publication USA Education
The U.S. educational system today comprises almost 96000
public elementary and secondary schools. School attendance is
compulsory for students through age 16 in most states. Children
generally begin elementary school with kindergarten (K) at
age five and continue through secondary school (grade 12) to
age 18. Typically, the elementary school years include kindergarten
through grades five or six, and at some schools through
grade eight. Secondary schools — known as high schools in
the United States — generally include grades nine through 12.
Schools have been, and remain, a state and local responsibility
in the United States. Unlike most other nations, the United
States does not operate a national education system.
Each state’s department of education is controlled by an elected
board, headed by the superintendent of public instruction
or the state commissioner of education. Board members are
elected by local residents or appointed by the state governor
and usually serve from two to six years. The board is responsible
for setting policy relating to educational affairs such as
the allocation of state and federal funds, certification of teachers,
provision of textbooks and library services, records and
educational statistics, and setting and enforcing the term of
The superintendent of a school is responsible for executing the
policies established by the local board of education. Together
with the board, the superintendent prepares the school budget,
determines the level of taxes (usually property taxes) needed
to finance the school program, employs teachers and other
school personnel, provides and maintains school buildings,
purchases equipment and supplies, and provides transport for
students who live beyond walking distance from school.
Principalship A Leadership Responsibility
No child left behind legislation is shaping and influencing education
system of USA for more than ten years. NCLB requires
states to set educational standards for achievement at different
grade levels and to take steps to improve the performance
of those who don’t meet the standards. There are many variables
which are critical to effective education and leadership, especially principalship acquires an important place in these
variables. Today’s demand for accountability and measurable
results in student achievement has put the school principal
front and center as the leader most responsible for ensuring
that no child gets left behind (Herrington & Willis, 2005). And,
Institute of Educational Leadership, defines the role of educational
“Schools of the 21st century require a new kind of principal, one
who fulfills a variety of roles:
- Instructional leader — is focused on strengthening teaching
and learning, professional development, data-driven decision-
making and accountability.
- Community leader — is imbued with a big picture awareness
of the school’s role in society; shared leadership
among educators, community partners and residents; close
relations with parents and others; and advocacy for school
capacity building and resources.
- Visionary Leader — has a demonstrated commitment to
the conviction that all children will learn at high levels and
is able to inspire others inside and outside the school building
with this vision.
All three are important. But in a crucial sense, leadership for
student learning is the priority that connects and encompasses
all three major roles.”
The National Association of Elementary School Principals
(2001) defines instructional leadership as leading learning
communities, in which staff members meet on a regular basis
to discuss their work, collaborate to solve problems, reflect on
their jobs, and take responsibility for what students learn.
Instructional leadership differs from that of a school administrator
or manager in a number of ways. Principals who pride
themselves as administrators usually are too preoccupied in
dealing with strictly managerial duties, while principals who
are instructional leaders involve themselves in setting clear
goals, allocating resources to instruction, managing the curriculum
monitoring lesson plans, and evaluating teachers. In
short, instructional leadership reflects those actions a principal
takes to promote growth in student learning (Flath, 1989).
Role and responsibilities of school principals in the United
States are defined in the Education Encyclopedia1 as follows:
The school principal is the highest-ranking administrator in an
elementary, middle, or high school. Principals typically report
directly to the school superintendent. Principals are responsible
for the overall operation of their schools. Some of their
duties and responsibilities are delineated in state statutes.
States and school districts have also set expectations for principals
through their principal evaluation criteria and procedures.
During the latter part of the twentieth century, as schools
began to be held more accountable for the performance of their students on national and state assessments, the duties
and responsibilities of principals changed. Principals became
more responsible for teaching and learning in their schools. In
particular, their duty to monitor instruction increased along
with their responsibility to help teachers improve their teaching.
With this change in responsibilities, principals discovered
the need to more effectively evaluate instruction and assist
teachers as they worked to improve their instructional techniques.
The principal’s duty to improve the school instructional
program is mandated by legislation in some states.
Principals are also responsible for facilitating their school’s
interactions with parents and others in the school community.
Principals also interact with parents who serve on school advisory
boards, parent/teacher organizations, and booster clubs.
Principals continue to be responsible for the management
of their schools even though their primary responsibility has
shifted. One major management responsibility is school safety.
Certification for Principals
Murphy (1992) describes ‘the evolution of preparation programs’
(p. 16) in terms of four broad eras. Prior to 1900, educators
and business leaders promoted the need for strong leadership
in schools, but formal preparation programs for school
administrators had not yet developed. The second era lasting
from 1900 to 1945 encompassed a period of vast growth in
administrative preparation programs; administrative positions
complete formal course work and hold certification. The years
from 1946 to 1985 brought “a period of great excitement, programmatic
support, influential leadership, unparalleled activity,
and considerable growth” (Murphy, 1992, p. 37), with an intense
focus on professionalism. The last era from 1985 to present
brings us to the “period of choice” (Murphy, 1992, p. 68), with
university-based administrative preparation programs drawing
criticism concerning the quality of leaders they produce.
Professional Preparation of School Principals
Principals in the United States must have at least three years
of teaching experience, university master’s degrees, and they
must have completed mandated programs of study leading to
the receipt of licenses or certificates to serve as school principals
in their respective states (Su et al., 2003).
Normally, programs require 30-36 graduate credit hours. On
average, a three (3) credit graduate level course requires 45
hours of classroom instructional time and roughly 125 hours
of additional out of class work. Courses are delivered during
two academic semesters. On average, a part-time student may
complete a planned program of study (30-36 credit hours) in
3-5 years. In many instances the planned program of study
constitutes a Master’s Degree.
At least 35 states have adopted the ISLLC standards and use
them to guide policy and practice related to principal preparation
(Achilles & William, 2001). In addition, individuals applying for licensure are required to take and earn a passing grade on
the ISLLC test, the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA)
(Björk & Murphy, 2005).
Educational School Leadership in Canada
The Canadian insistence on the collective concerns of peace,
order and good government has meant that state projects
such as schooling are seen in terms of their over all impact on
society. For this reason more public funds are spent on school
systems in Canada than in any other country. Canada spends
about 7% of its GDP on education. English and French are national
languages (World Data on education, 2006/07).
Policies Structure of Education System: Basic structures of
provincial and territorial education systems across Canada
are similar. Each has three tiers — elementary, secondary,
and postsecondary — although the grades at which each level
begins and ends vary. All jurisdictions provide universal, free
elementary and secondary schooling for 12 years, with the
exception of Quebec where it is for 11 years. Education is compulsory
to the age of 15 or 16 in most jurisdictions. According
to Statistics Canada data, there are approximately 15500 schools
in Canada: 10100 elementary; 3400 secondary 2000 mixed
elementary and secondary. The overall average is 350 students
per school. In 2004–05, provinces and territories reported that
there were 5.3 million students enrolled in public elementary
and secondary schools. Education is free and compulsory up to
high school (source: Canadian Information Centre for International
Education in Canada seeks to attain what are generally defined
as the four major goals for schooling: cultivation of mind; vocational
preparation; moral and civic development and individual
The Council of Ministers of Education: The Council of Ministers
of Education, Canada (CMEC) was formed in 1967 by the provincial
and territorial ministers responsible for education to
provide a forum in which they could discuss matters of mutual
interest, undertake educational initiatives cooperatively, and
represent the interests of the provinces and territories with
national educational organizations, the federal government,
foreign governments, and international organizations.
School Boards are Responsible for: Determining the number,
size and location of schools; building, equipping and furnishing
schools; providing education programs that meet the needs of
the school community, including needs for special education;
prudent management of the funds allocated by the province to
support all board activities.
Principals: Educational administrators who manage elementary,
middle, and secondary schools are called principals. Principals
are responsible for the organization and management of
individual schools, including any budget assigned to the school
by the school board. They are also responsible for the quality
of instruction at their school and for student discipline.
School Councils: School Councils advise principals and, where
appropriate, school boards on issues affecting the education programs and the operation of individual schools. Their membership
reflects both the school and the community, and must
include parents and guardians of students, the principal, a
teacher, a student representative (secondary school councils),
a non-teaching school staff member, as well as members from
the community at large. Parents and guardians must make up
the majority of council members. School Councils may advise
the principal or the school board on: school year calendars;
codes of student behavior; curriculum priorities; programs and
strategies to improve school performance.
Ontario College of Teachers: The Ontario College of Teachers
regulates the teaching profession and governs its members.
The college was established by the provincial government in
September 1996. The College of Teachers is responsible for:
setting requirements for teaching certificates and maintaining
a provincial register of teachers; setting standards for teacher
training programs at Ontario universities, and monitoring the
training programs to ensure they meet the standards; developing
codes of conduct for teachers; discipline and fitness to
Preparation for School Leaders
The successful completion of 36 semester hours leads to a
master degree in education. The PhD is the terminal degree
for those seeking to lead at the executive level including perspective
superintendents and principals and for those desiring
to teach and lead at institutions of higher education. Effective
practice as a building leader is often determined by the ability
to combine basic theory and recommended practice with administrative
Ontario Education Context: (Principals’ qualifications – Licensing)
Certified teachers in Ontario who want to obtain accreditation
from the Ontario College of Teachers to become school administrators
must make the following prerequisites:
- An acceptable university undergraduate degree;
- Five years of teaching experience;
- Qualifications in three teaching divisions, one of which
must be the Intermediate division, two specialist qualifications;
- A Master’s degree or its equivalent; or
- One specialist qualification and one-half (five courses) of a
After completing these requirements, teachers are eligible to
have this qualification entered on their Ontario Certificate of
Qualification, with the Ontario College of Teachers. This program
qualifies them to be appointed to the position of principal
or vice-principal in the public education system in Ontario
(Canadian Education Center, 2002). While Ontario requires
prospective principals to have both a graduate degree and provincial
certification programs, most provinces in Canada do not
with the exception of New Brunswick and Manitoba.
Licensing: Mandated, accredited professional learning is an
important component of a well structured and accountable
public education system. In 2004-05, Canada’s elementary and
secondary school systems employed close to 310000 educators,
most of whom had four or five years of postsecondary
study. Most secondary school teachers have a subject specialization
in the courses they teach.
Principal’s Qualification Program: The Principals Qualification
Program takes two years part time to complete. It is divided into
two sections, (Part 1 Practical Management, Part 2 Leadership
Functions). The facilitators are always current principals. Once
qualified, aspirants apply to a school board for a position of
vice principal. This is followed by a rigorous interview procedure
and referees’ reports. If successful, applicants are appointed
to a school. The attainment of the Qualification does not automatically
qualify an applicant for a leadership Position. Some
are never appointed. Once appointed, Vice principals may be
promoted to principal.
The importance of establishing a culture of professional learning
for teachers at all stages of their career is considered
crucial. Because initial salaries for beginning teachers are tied
to their university qualifications and because the attainment of
additional qualifications or a Masters degree enables teachers
to move up the pay scale more quickly, there is a system-wide
culture of individual professional learning. This is supported by
a close relationship with educational academics. (Hargraves &
Fullan, 1998; Fullan, 2005)
The involvement of the Ontario Principals Council, not just in
supporting principal professional learning, but in delivering a
range of professional learning is a key to the embedding of this
Recruitment and Selection Procedures of Principals
Effective recruitment and selection of school administrators
continue to be one of the more challenging human resource
tasks in educational organizations (McCarthy, 1999; Pounder &
Young, 1996). Some of the selection procedures in Canada include
resumes, pre-screening interviews often done by telephone,
employee testing, reference checks and consulting services
(Anderson, 1988; Baltzell & Dentler, 1992; Young & Castetter,
2000; Stout, 1973). According to the National Association of
Secondary School Principals (ERS, 1999) the selection of school
administrators needs to be based on “qualities of leadership
rooted in established knowledge, skills and professional growth
that result in dedication to good instructional practice and learning”
(p. 100). It means that an appointee should already
“have established his or her credentials or shows promise of
performing as a leader once in the post” (ERS, 1999, p.101).
Furthermore, professional development of administrators
enhances growth and integrity if planned with the dynamics
of the administrative career and stages of development in
mind (Pounder & Merrill, 2001). “Age, stage of career, life’s
experiences… make up the total person” (Fullan, 2000, p.27)
and generally a decision to enter into administration occurs in
mid-career (Hargreaves & Fullan, 1998).
A Comparison of the British & American Systems
A study was conducted in 1999 on the British Head-teachers
and the American Principals by John Daresh and Trevor Male.
The study explored changes that occurred as people moved across
‘borders’, (the transition into headship or principal-ship).
But the paper “Crossing the Border into Leadership: Experiences
of Newly Appointed British Head-teachers and American
Principals” also compares the preparation for headship and
the principal-ship in both countries. It discusses the serious
discussion and the responsibility felt in these countries to prepare
the educational leadership for the future generation and
to obtain higher level of quality education.
USA increased responsibility of head-teachers who is now the
Chief Executive and therefore the system is more complex than
UK. Americans are slowly moving towards greater statewide
control replacing local district control.
British roles of head-teachers affected by the mandated changes,
the British headship is now a full time management role
from a teaching. Other changes are: Locally managed schools,
Accountability has increased parent power, school governing
body has an increased role. Head-teacher now, like English,
goes by a National Curriculum. The principal is seen moving
up the ranks and involved, a sort of apprenticeship model is
emerging. Promoted up the ranks because of seniority on the
job training, and the training of self through NDC for school
School Management Task Force (SMTF)
Head-teacher mentoring scheme through trained mentor was
introduced having a reasonable impact. White paper ‘excellence
in education’ has had a sound impact as it was introduced
for proposed head-teachers to go for formal preparation to
equip them for the job of principalship.
National Professional Qualification for Headship
Headlamp has been the key training program. The US has had a
long history of formal principalship in US. Model was executed
by universities through their training program to the principals.
In UK Principalship has been taught on a university campus. But
in US it consisted of diversity in each state, however, the standard
practice was to accept three-year experience of teaching.
University Master degree, mandated programs for license to
be principal. These have been introduced to meet the growing
demand for improvement in educational leadership.
It was observed that the British headship prospects did not necessarily
go through formal education programs of advanced
study or degree level. But the system characterized significant
experience at Deputy Head Level. Higher degree was considered
important but practical experience was treated as a premium
The American Principals were found somewhat unprepared
on resuming the post immediately after studies. Hence they
learned from experience on the job.
Pre-service preparation pattern: American training prior to
taking the post. Graduate university program were a universal
practice. The outstanding quality in the American system was
that all principals’ preparation required courses such as a School
Law, Teacher Supervision, Personal Management Evaluation,
School Financing & Budgeting, and these were covered in their
Masters Degree in Education.
Professional Support Received through the Induction Period
Scheme to support induction was supported by Central Government
in England. Headlamp scheme was devised to benefit
such induction; in the US the same feeling prevailed and was
supported by legislation.
“Providing leadership for schools is a complex activity, regardless
of experience levels. But for the novice head-teachers or
principal, the challenges which now appear can be overwhelming.
In addition, whatever the blend between theory and
practice, there must be a strong commitment to the need for
those stepping into school site leadership roles to spend time
reflecting on personal values, ethic stances, and other similar
mattes which may help them appreciate the single most critical
issue facing all who step into a new role”.
Pakistani Scenario and New Models of Educational Leadership
There is no shortage of literature on the role of leadership in
bringing about improvement in schools. Head-teachers have
been the focus of attention receiving a through scanning of
what lies at the bottom of the significant pillar of educational
edifice. But, as Simkins et al. point out, research has take place
in the western industrialized countries which makes it suspect
for implementation in a developing country’s scenario. As has
been observed the system of education in the two parts of the
world are poles apart. In countries such as Pakistan the focus
is on ‘top-down’ approach. It is here the system comes into
play. There is no devolution and school level teachers have no
say. They are all promotes and not merit based selected. This
system also has the peculiarities such as, planning and focus
on finance take precedence. The force dominating is the bureaucracy
and therefore the main lever of change is the administrative
bureaucrat. The role of the head-teacher is relegated
to an insignificant functionary at the lower level (Simkins et
Research has revealed that quality education depends upon
how schools are managed not resources and ultimately influenced
by quality of leadership. This calls to shift from the
“policy-mechanic” paradigm towards a ‘classroom – culturalist’
model. The prime responsibility must be placed with schools
and decentralization of management responsibility.
The Structure of Schools in Pakistan and the Challenge
Pakistan’s public schools are, as we have seen, ‘top-down’
bureaucratic model which are controlled by centralized policy
decisions. Provincial Governments act as the implementing
agencies. A typical bureaucratic inertia prevails. Head-teachers
are promotes by virtue of seniority and not based on leadership
potential, talent and innovator or risk takers. The inadequacies in the environment drew out entrepreneurs to setup private
sector schools and similarly NGO launched their initiative to
promote education. Schools in this category have a different
model. Community based initiative in the shape of Trust and
Foundation have sprung up. They are decentralized. This sector
has grown considerably in the urban and semi-urban areas.
Some are elitist and some cater to the middle class society.
But the public sector caters to the vast majority and to the low
income group in rural and urban areas. However the common
trait across the entire sector is that they are all managed and
led by untrained teachers or Head-teachers.
As per the data from Higher Education Commission there are
132 universities and institutes of higher learning, with 318,281
enrolled students, registered with the Higher Education Commission
(HEC). All of these universities have business schools
offering the degrees in various business related disciplines and
in various specializations. This study attempts to help the teachers
to look at the teaching service quality through students’
viewpoint and can manage to improve their teaching quality.
This also helps the policy makers to apply the service quality
approach to assess quality of teaching. The modern perspective
of education system rates the teacher as service provider
and student as recipients of services or consumers, so teachers
must also be evaluated on some parameters of service quality
and these ratings can be used to suggest the teachers the improvements
within the teaching environment.
There is an awareness for trained and qualified teachers but
despite policy directive it has not made any progress (Simkins
et al., 2003). A very useful research has developed the concept
of ways to explore how head-teachers should be evaluated for
policy initiative (Ribbins & Gronn, 2000). The study has indicated
that Pakistan is behest with a number of issues in developing
the role of head-teachers. The public sector institutions
have the Government governance regime and are highly bureaucratic
hence the leaders are directed through rules – have no
influence or vision – are pen pusher. The private sector is led
by the head-teachers who exercise personal influence, have
more powers to hire and fire and propose salary structure. The
NGO and Trust also exercise considerable power and discipline,
staff, management and finance. Here there is a hierarchy of
structure dictated by salary levels. The Government structure
is flat and has no incentive. There is more delegation at the
NGO and Private School level. The issues of growth and vision
are dealt by the heads in these schools but in public sector it
is the delegated middle management who have no scope of
Being a high power distance culture the hierarchy is a natural
outcome of such thinking and hence boss takes all decisions.
Dependence on bosses is the norm. The conclusion that can be
drawn from the Pakistan context is that national and community
cultural determine the leadership aspect of the educational
leaders. There are natural expectations from these leaders
at all the three systems. But these are met according to the
orientation of each system and further enhanced in its crudity by the personal orientation of the head-teachers. A successful
head-teacher displays a philosophy and is able to implement it
through his personal stamp.
Furthermore in the word of Prof. Khwaja Masud who recommends
that there is a crying need for decentralization in
Pakistan within the department of education and within the
institutions themselves. His formula is that the five senior most
teachers should constitute the Administrative Council, dealing
with all the academic, disciplinary, financial and developmental
problems of the institutions. One of them should be designated
as the Dean of Faculty, the second as the Dean of Students, the
third, Bursar and the fourth as the Development Officer. Within
that context are we ready to develop educational leadership?
What is it that ails our educational environment? How can we
bring about a transitional change for better quality and contemporary
education? What leadership role should our Principals
and Head-teachers adopt? How to bring in competent
quality educational leaders into our education system? These
are some of the questions that we need to find answers to in
our subsequent research.
Analysis of Facts and Resolution of Research Problems
Ross and Gray (2006) had some elements in common with
Day and Harris’s findings. However Ross and Gray specifically
mentioned that it was the transformational leader that in
theory and in practice produces that positive change in the
educational institute. Day and Harris did not mention the term
‘transformational’, however it is clear from the traits that were
mentioned such as being caring of the human element, values
and culture that it is a transformational leader. Other evidences
like the leader must go beyond the traditional managerial
practices and developing the employee as much as the organization
suggests a transformational approach.
Henceforth the bottom line in this argument is that transformational
leaders are required to produce effective results in
educational institutes. What these two articles do not address
is what characterizes as a positive transformational leader
since the change produced could be positive or negative. The
deduction is that a leader who worked very well in one institute
would have a lot of trouble in different institute, given the
change in scenario, culture, work ethics and environment. The
leader’s adaptability to a different environment and ability to
act are hence new variables that should be considered.
Research Problem 1:
This brings us to the Research Problems posed as number one
But have they been successful in countries such as Pakistan?
Paradoxically they are not, the reasons are easy to find. Pakistan
is a highly bureaucratic society and has hierarchical structure
and outmoded rules governing schools. Another factor for
its lack of progress is seen in the cultural aspects as identified
by Hofstede encouraging dependence, autocratic management
styles & avoidance of risk, and no professional training.
Simkin’s research would come in handy and here it should be
discussed as whether a leader who has worked well in another
environment can work well in Pakistan. In our judgment,
this is very possible in this globalized era. In Pakistan’s urban
educational institutes, students and teachers are aware of the
western culture which could help the leader be accepted in the
institute. Henceforth the chances of him being successful are
greater. In the rural areas however, the schools and institutes
operate in a different environment that is cut off from western
culture. And in present times, there is an animosity present
in the less educated class about West. Therefore there are
greater chances for the Western transformational leader to fail
in such a scenario. In this case then it would be wiser to train
local transformational leaders and send them to bring about
the change in the rural children.
Now let’s take the case that a Western leader with transformational
characteristics was asked to take control of a higher
educational institute in Lahore. We will disregard any rural
area institutes as they are too small to have a proper quality
assurance policy. In this case it is very possible as sighted by
Newton (2002) that the organization will face several problems.
Matters such as suspicion, mistrust and the question of
teacher autonomy can be very common issues faced by the
administration. Now as a leader the head of the institution can
make some policies that transform the institute to a Learning
Organization. This will induce a cultural change that will induce
leadership at all levels, straight to the teachers. And this is
where the real impact can occur and the student achievement
variable can improve. The teachers must take it upon themselves
to become leaders and improve themselves in a continuous
Japanese Kaizen approach.
Research Problem 2: “What models of Educational Leadership
Programs would be appropriate for Pakistan?”
Jago explains that leadership is all about people and interaction
between them. The quality of leadership greatly depends
upon the quality of followership. We see the educational leadership
includes a range of responsibility such as maintaining,
discipline, public relations, faculty administrative relationship,
accounts, maintenance, funds raising. He has to do this without
being over bearing or haughty. He has to deal with personal
problems of his teachers and students. The head teacher has
to be caring and emphasize human dimension. Finally they
must believe in values and cultural change and adaptable to a
learning organization. This in fact is almost job description and
calls for bottom line standard.
How can such a model be designed for Pakistan. A study by
Simkin et al. ‘School Leadership in Pakistan’ explained school
leadership and developed three case studies.
It was brought out that national culture was the important
variable that influences leadership behavior.
The Pakistani culture was examined through the prism of
Hofstede Cultural dimension. It was discovered in the Pakistan
scenario the head of the educational institution is doomed
to function between ‘an era which is dead and an era which refuses to be born’. He is confronted with two explosions: explosion
of change and explosion of expectation.
But the study established that if such factors were considered
while formulating future plans, those principals if given the
autonomy may provide an indirect effect on the institutions in
Pakistan. This will lead to good learning and positive student
achievement and satisfaction.
Research Problem 3: “Quality Assurance is an aspect of Educational
Leadership, it is a missing link in Pakistan?”
The stress is on the importance of quality in recent times due
to the state demanding accountability of its educational institutions.
Research has revealed that quality of education leadership
depends on how schools are managed not resources.
The other aspect is the quality of leadership provided by head-
teachers and principals. The issues confronted in Pakistan
after the initial reforms introduced in early 2000 were because
traditional modes of bureaucratic organizations have a strong
hold on the minds and perception of the people and head teachers.
Hence decentralization has failed. In the current changing
world of, knowledge, academic research is one of the major
parameters for the development of any country. In Pakistan
unfortunately quality academic research is at low priority of
the academicians and institutions. Focus of the current study
is to finalize a mechanism for producing quality research at
higher education institutes of Pakistan.
In Pakistan there are many problems related to system, structure,
culture and leadership while producing quality research.
Academic research must be given top priority at every level to
develop an environment of academic research.
Having done this, all the quality assurance should also have a
Kaizen approach that suits the continuous improvement of teachers.
The teachers will also demand autonomy in their work.
This should be accepted with the mutual agreement that some
form of improvement should be made in the teaching style and
overall student satisfaction/performance.