Title

Role of a head teacher in promoting the use of ICT among the learning area coordinators: A case study

Date of Award

8-1-2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Exponential growth in information and communication technology (ICT) has put the school leaders in a situation where they are expected to use ICT for teaching and learning process. They are also expected to prepare the teaching staff, so that students would be prepared for the future. Literature suggests that school headteachers have a potential role to play in promoting the use of ICT in schools. It also suggests that for the promotion of ICT among teachers, a headteacher can play a role in developing teachers professionally. Moreover, s/he can develop a collaborative culture among the teachers so that they could learn from each other. However, the first condition for the promotion of ICT is the availability of ICT resources. Therefore, the headteachers are in a challenging situation to first acquire the resources and then manage them in such a way that their potential benefits could be achieved. Since ICT is a recent phenomenon in most of the schools, especially in Pakistan, it is difficult to work with all the stakeholders simultaneously. Also, due to the huge student population in most of the schools, a gap between users and the resources, which hampers the promotion of ICT use. Therefore, it is imperative to work with a group of teachers who are more inclined towards ICT or have leadership positions at the first stage, so that they could be prepared and who can help others learn to use ICT. For this purpose, the study explores the role of headteacher in promoting the use of ICT among learning area coordinators (LACs) who are subject teachers and lead small groups of subject teachers at the New Vision Secondary School (NVSS) in Karachi, Pakistan. The school was selected, because it belongs to the school system that I work for, and the headteacher seemed keen to promote the use of ICT among the LACs in the school. The study was carried out in a qualitative research paradigm. Data were collected through interviews, observations, informal discussion and document analysis. The empirical evidence showed that the roles played by the headteacher in the NVSS were not different from what has been found in the literature. The headteacher played the role of resource manager and a leader. Similarly, she made the efforts to provide opportunities of learning to the LACs. She has attempted to develop a learning environment through her own examples. This learning culture has helped the LACs, especially in their early days, when they were new and joined the school with little or no knowledge of ICT. Nevertheless, the headteacher faces the challenges associated with the non-availability of experienced teachers, shortage of ICT resources, lack of some standard material in some areas on the internet and the power breakdown.

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