Title

Autobiographies of two female educational leaders: A case from Pakistan

Date of Award

8-1-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

The educational leadership has been studied extensively over a period of time both empirically and theoretically. The growing number of literature advocates the practices of educational leadership in different contexts and it is much explored area through qualitative case studies method, but the practices of female leadership through self-study within the qualitative paradigm is relatively less explored. Therefore, this study explores the professional practices of two Female Assistant District Educational Officers in Pakistani context through auto/biographical approach within self-study method by conducting semi-structure interviews and document analysis. The primary research participants are researcher herself from the rural area of NWFP and another female from education department of Sindh based on purposive sampling. The purpose of the study is to explore how female educational leaders develop their leadership practices despite the context specific challenges. It also aims to share the leadership practices of the female educational leaders with educational community in order to highlight the true voices and experiences in terms of challenges and possibilities faced by them. The study informs the policy makers to look at the matter of professional development of administrative staff, for addressing the contextual issues, which leads towards the effectiveness of the organization. It may be a guiding principle for educational leaders to critically reflect and examine their leadership practices irrespective of gender. The study recommends the leadership component in school curriculum in order to explore their leadership potentials. It also recommends the parental education as a part of school development plans in order to aware the parents regarding their children's leadership qualities. The study reports that the leadership practices can be developed through contextualizing the formal roles into action. Female educational leaders have little support from the socio-cultural context, but family and their individual efforts playa vital role for the development of their leadership practices. Leaders can develop their leadership practices through continuous professional development and planning in the organization. The study also challenges the beliefs and stereotype assumptions towards female educational leadership. The study reveals that mostly leadership remains contextual and depends on the personal abilities and practices of leaders, no matter the leader is male or female.

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