What Really Works in Leading a School?

By Seema Arif and Afshan Sohail.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

We are presented with much rhetoric about leadership, its styles and behaviours in context of school leadership. Yet it remains uncertain what will really work in any given situation. Leadership is much needed either in moments of crisis or where organizational development and expansion is required. So the basic question that comes under my consideration is does leadership exist or is it shaped or cultivated by careful programming? Throughout leadership research people have differing opinions. How can so much contradiction help and guide managers of an organization which is at a developing stage? A qualitative case study comprising in-depth interviews with a school principal and senior school teachers in newly founded private school chain has been conducted to gain insight into leadership development. How can school heads learn to become transformational leaders? Whether or not ‘emotional intelligence’ will help? What do they need to do to be valued and respected at the top? How can sharing be promoted among various levels of colleagues? How can teachers be kept satisfied and motivated in their roles instead of awarding them some status? How does traditional transformational theory help in actual transactions of school leaders with teachers or do we need some newer model? Apparently learning to lead does not seem as difficult as learning to follow, yet it is generally understood that one must learn to adapt and manage with critical situations first. It involves lot of learning. Our aim is to dig at those critical learning experiences that develop ultimate potential in the leaders.

Keywords: School Leadership, Leadership Style, Relationships, Emotional Intelligence, Transformational and Transactional Leadership

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp.695-708. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.374MB).

Dr. Seema Arif

Assistant Professor, Department of Management Studies, Punjab College of Business Administration, University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

I am Seema Arif, MSc in PSYCHOLOGY, MA in EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT and PhD in EDUCATION. My teaching area is ‘human relations’. I am a devoted researcher. My special area of interest is holistic personality development through education and ‘systems view of life’. My approach toward research is inductive and I usually adopt phenomenology as research methodology and most of my recent research is qualitative. The topic of my PhD research is “Dynamics of Quality Management in Higher Education” with special focus on checking interrelationship between teaching learning environment and student satisfaction. Recently, I haven been involved in action research, especially connected with changing values in higher education that has transformed teaching practice altogether. Previously I’ve worked on Burns’ Transformational Leadership theory and constructed a model for educational leadership using transformational theory and with special emphasis on systems change via organizational learning for continual improvement. I have presented in many local and international conferences and have many publications as well.

Afshan Sohail

Deputy Director, Resource Academia, Punjab Group of Colleges, Lahore, Pakistan

I am Afshan Sohail. I am currently registered as Mphil to PhD Education candidate at Wolverhampton University UK. I am new in research and learning to research and share my learning experiences. I am an enthusiastic learner. I have been involved in the school management for many years now. And I think I can share some valuable experiences that characterize my learning and help me deal with active problems of professional life.


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