Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication (Name of Journal)

Quality in education: Teaching and leadership in challenging times


Professional Development Centre, Karachi


This paper examines the role of effective leaders in bringing about quality in teaching and learning in schools. It is based on my doctoral empirical research undertaken during 2000-2005 under the auspices of the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE/UT), Canada. My study explores the roles, beliefs and behaviors of three reputationally effective secondary school headteachers in Karachi, Pakistan, in three types of schools – government, community and independent, assuming that contextual factors will influence the nature of leadership. The findings reveal that all three heads’ beliefs and practices show similarity in a vision of providing quality education, balanced between Islamic teachings and values, and modern, secular content and skills. As managers and leaders, the heads focused on building an environment conducive to better teaching and learning, enabling teacher development, and fostering productive relations within and outside their schools. They differed, however, in their rationale, strategies and application of these strategies, due largely to differences in their personal histories, specific beliefs and values, and organizational settings.