A principal’s challenges in improving teachers’ classroom practices and her strategies for address these challenges

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The principals' job is multi-dimensional. They face numerous challenges while working as instructional leaders, administrators, disciplinarians and change agents. They play a central role in improving classroom practices of teachers. When teachers' practices are improved, it has a direct positive influence on students' academic achievements. The purpose of this study was to explore one private school principal's experiences, and in particular, to find out how this principal improves her teachers' classroom practices and how she copes with the challenges she faces while improving the teachers' practices. The study also aimed at finding the influence of challenges in shaping the principal's practices. I used qualitative research approach, using the case study method to study the principals' challenges in a school setting. I selected a private school as a research site due to the pro-activeness of principal in that school. I did purposeful sampling with one principal and three teachers. I used semi-structured interviews, non-participant observations to collect data. The findings of the research show that Shagufta, the principal in this particular school faces a number of challenges related to: the diverse background of students, teachers' turnover and absenteeism, her work with new teachers, pressure from parents and donors. In order to deal with these challenges, Shagufta has her own driven strategies. For example, counselling the students, frequent classroom visits and giving feedback, offering professional development program at the school and outside it. She has involved all stake holders in her management board (e.g., teachers, donors, parents, and community members) in order to make them aware about school activities as well as to involve them in the improvement process. There have been collective attempts to meet the challenges and to achieve the ultimate goal that is, students' academic achievement. She emphasizes on building relationships among the students, teachers and principal in the school and learning from one another. Shagufta does many activities in her school to improve teachers' classroom practices. Her practices seem to be influenced by her own experiences as a teacher and are derived from professional development courses. She believes that leadership itself teaches the principal to cope with difficult time. Shagufta works as a team with her teachers which has further extended and strengthened her leadership.

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