A study of principal's role as an effective educational leader

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


An effective educational leadership plays a crucial role in order to bring about sustainable change in schools. Generally, in the Pakistani context and particularly in Northern Areas, customarily, teachers are promoted as principals on seniority basis or they are selected directly before they attend any training in school leadership and management. Most of them being untrained or unaware of educational leadership, appear to be ineffective in school development, because use of personal styles of leadership. This situation does not allow principals as well as teachers to create a collaborative learning environment. Therefore, a critical study of principals and teachers' notions and perceptions about effective leadership seems to be very important. Various researchers have reached the consensus that without bringing any change in principals as well as teachers' beliefs it would be difficult to bring any change in their practices. This study was focused in a private secondary school, in Karachi. In the qualitative paradigm through in-depth interviews, the study used the case study method to explore a principal's notions of her role as an effective educational leader. The tools of exploration were interviewing, observation and documentation analysis. The study of teachers' perceptions about their principal's role as an effective educational leader proved very useful in recognizing the differences between the principal and teachers' perceptions. The data analysis reveals that the principal's conception about effective educational leadership is clear to some extent, however, in practices she appears to be an authoritarian. It seems that due to lack of intercommunication skills, the principal has not been effective in giving equal participation to staff in school leadership and management. As a result, the junior staff members seemed to be de-motivated, because they feel that they have no participation in school management. The teachers have the expectations that the principal should be a critical observer and critical motivator if better students learning outcomes are to be achieved. The teachers believe that a peaceful and secure environment enables them to work with more zeal and devotion. Overall, data suggests that a shared vision, trust, commitment and collaborative efforts play a pivotal role in making the principal's role as an effective educational leader.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library