A study of a head teacher's perceived and performed roles in a community school in Karachi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Understanding a head teacher's role as an educational leader is mostly a neglected area, especially in developing countries, including Pakistan. Most of the head teachers perform managerial and administrative roles, and very little time is given to academic leadership, which negatively affects the quality of education in the schools. I conducted a study to understand a head teacher's perceived and performed role in a community school located in Karachi. In order to understand the head teacher's different dimensions of the role, a qualitative approach was used. Data was gathered through a variety of methods including, interviews, classroom observations, discussions, and document analysis, to cross- check information for triangulation purpose. The findings suggest that the head teacher perceived her role as that of a facilitator, team builder and change agent. She also acted as an instructional leader and a manager. These role dimensions indicate that the head teacher acts as an educational leader by giving professional support to teachers, by enriching the curriculum, creating close relationships with the community and by creating a collaborative learning environment at school. There seems harmony, to some extent, between the head teacher's perceived and performed roles, however, some challenges have affected the head teacher's role. These challenges include workload, ambiguity of head teachers' role and teachers' turn over. On the basis of the study findings, some recommendations have been put forward that might help the head teacher to further enhance the understanding of her role as an educational leader in the school.

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