Teachers' and headteachers' perceptions of teacher leadership in public secondary schools in Dar es salaam: Possibilities and constraints

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mweru Mwingi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Teacher leadership is a concept that is gaining increasing interest from both practitioners and researchers. Despite school leadership reforms in the West that have led to well developed teacher leadership theory and practice, school leadership in developing countries is still premised on the head teacher and few teachers in formal leadership positions. This study on the perceptions of teachers and head teachers of teacher leadership was conducted in two public secondary schools in Dar es Salaam to explore how teacher leadership is perceived and whether it exist either in theory or in practice or both. The study used qualitative methods that involved the use of semi-structured individual. focus group interviews and document analysis as data collection tools. Findings show that teacher leadership is defined as role-based, positional and associated with personal traits. Formal teacher leadership is thus, well established in this context. The study also reveals that teacher leadership as exercised at three levels: within the classroom, at the school level and in the community. Findings also illustrate that teacher leadership roles are varied and contextual: and that, while teachers have a role to play in their development as a result of personal, interpersonal and professional agency, head teacher' s role is crucial in the development of teacher leadership. Findings indicate that several factors such as school structures, head teacher’s leadership style. organizational structures and school culture, undefined roles of teacher leaders and economic constraints can facilitate or impede teacher leadership. The study makes recommendations for policy and practice as well as for further studies in the area of teacher leadership.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library