The role of the principal in enhancing efficient school improvement through collaboration: A critical perspective

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Focusing on school leadership relations between the principal, teachers, students, parents, and other key elements of the school community, this study gives an examination of the potential of their active collaboration around instructional matters to enhance the quality of teaching and student performance. The analysis is grounded on the principal's manipulation of the dynamics of collaboration through two conceptions of leadership transformational and shared instructional. The sample is the secondary section of a private school belonging to a wider cartel of schools under private management. The school is governed by a decentralised system where each section has a head teacher and other management and instructional leaders. All these sections are under one umbrella of the principal's office. The principal in turn is assisted by an academic vice principal and an administrative vice principal. This leads to a rich hierarchy of authority whose management would be very difficult without employing the dynamics of collaboration. The study attributes the success of the school to the prestigious status as a result of the principal's collaboration with the stakeholders involved, and it highlights certain qualities of leadership that support collaboration as well. Discussion of the limiting factors and critical aspects of leadership has also been done. This study depended on a qualitative case study design from which the various themes discussed emerged. These include how the various stakeholders perceive their roles, structures set for collaboration, results of collaboration, obstacles to collaboration and how the principal manipulates existing conditions in order to pave the way for school improvement. The conclusion reached is that there is no one particular leadership style that suits a school situation. An integrated style is advocated for depending on the culture of the school and the vision it is set to attain.

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