Exploration of how school leaders without formal leadership preparation experience leadership

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Peter Kajoro

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


There is increasing evidence that preparation for school leaders is important for the development of quality services in schools that eventually results into students’ academic achievement. However, in Africa including Zanzibar, school leaders are only appointed to leadership position without undergoing formal leadership preparation. In Zanzibar, school leaders are appointed on the basis of their excellent teaching records and not for their leadership potentials. This study therefore, reports on an exploration of how these school leaders who were appointed without formal leadership preparation experience school leadership. The study sought to investigate emotions that these school leaders experience as they discharge their roles, how they learn to discharge their roles under the situation of not being formally prepared, factors that assist them to discharge their roles and the challenges they face. This is a case study based on qualitative research techniques where semi-structured interviews, focus group discussion and document analysis were used. All school leaders attended the first phase of interviews, the head teacher was re-interviewed after the other school leaders participated in the focus group so as to jog their memories concerning their leadership experiences. The study shows that while these school leaders experience leadership, they are experiencing the feelings of helplessness and self-doubt as they discharge their leadership roles. As school leaders experience leadership, they mostly depend on their working experiences and on the job learning to lead the school while at the same time experiencing a number of serious challenges as they discharge their leadership responsibilities.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library