Exploring the role of a head teacher in the teaching learning process of schools

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


There is a good deal of consensus in literature about the significance of the role of the head teacher in schools. Their role is considered as crucial for school effectiveness. This research aimed to explore the role of the head teachers in the teaching and learning process of the school. This study was conducted with three head teachers belonging to different education sectors of Pakistan included government, private for and not-for-profit. The research studied the roles perceived and enacted by the head teachers with a focus on their instructional role. It also investigated the perceptions and understanding of the head teachers about enquiry instructional strategy and the role they played in implementing this strategy in the classroom. In order to achieve the purpose, a qualitative enquiry approach was adopted. The research drew on qualitative data from methods such as conversation, shadowing, document analysis, and reflective journal of the researcher. Role of head teachers was studied under two important dimensions: leadership role which is broader in scope and instructional role which is the specific component of leadership role. Three categories captured head teachers' conceptualization and practices of their instructional role: administration of instructional activities, curriculum and classroom instructions, and professional development of teachers. The study revealed that head teachers give their excessive attention to the administration of instructional activities, and less time was spent to perform other two categories of instructional role. This enactment was influenced by certain factors included their own perceptions of their roles, their school structure, their autonomy and their exposure to the professional development programs. The research also showed that the head teachers' understanding about the enquiry instructional strategy was restricted to the knowledge dimension of the same. Other aspects as skills and dispositions were not included in their conceptualization. The head teachers also shared their perceptions of their role in the implementation process. Their perception of their roles was limited to the administrative component of their instructional role ignoring the complex nature of it. Recommendations and suggestions of the research for future study are also pointed out.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library