Teachers as agents of school improvement: A case study

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Literature on school improvement gives high importance to the role teachers play in improving their schools. However, there is a dearth of such literature in the context of developing countries, particularly in Pakistan. Hence, this area needs to be explored, so that teachers' voices can be heard in order to bring grass root level change in schools. Keeping in view the importance of teachers' roles, this study employed a qualitative case study approach, in order to explore public school teachers' perceived roles in improving their school. It was conducted in a government boys' secondary school, where most of the students come from low economic backgrounds. Nine teachers, including the school head teacher, participated in this research. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews, observations, informal conversations and document analysis. Findings reveal that teachers perceived their roles as that of facilitating students' learning and developing a strong and positive relationship with students. It showed that teachers view their role as one who model appropriate behavior and norms to students and mediate between the school and parents, as well as they are policy makers, who initiate change and motivate students towards better opportunities. Findings also show that teachers, perceptions of their role is gendered. Furthermore, the study illustrates those factors that enable teachers to engage in school improvement; such as, human and material resources, professional development opportunities, external training institutions, teacher empowerment and participatory leadership. Then, the study also elaborates factors which impede teachers' roles in improving their school; such as, lack of recognition, teacher turnover, lack of parental support, political interference, workload, time constraint and teachers' personal lives. Finally, the implications of the study for policy and management have been discussed.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library