Leadership approaches of principals in government and private schools: Teachers perceptions

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This study aimed at exploring teachers' perceptions of the actual and preferred leadership approaches of their principals in government and private schools in Karachi' Pakistan. The second aim was to compare whether teachers in government schools perceive leadership approaches (Actual and Preferred) of principals differently from teachers in Private schools or not. A survey tool Principal Leadership Approach Questionnaire (PLAQ) - developed by Pashiardis (1998), was adapted for this study. Questionnaires were sent to 450 teachers, randomly selected from government and private schools of three towns of Karachi. This sample teachers were asked to rate actual (PLAQ-A) and preferred (PLAQ-P) leadership approaches. Of 450 teachers, 333 completed the survey, providing a return rate of 74%. The results showed that the teachers perceived existing leadership approaches of principals as less democratic and less instructional than what they aspire for. The patterns remained consistent across systems of schools. However, the existing leadership approaches are perceived as more democratic in private schools than in their government counterparts. Further analysis revealed that teachers regardless of systems of schools perceived their principals as more efficient in the area of administration and fiscal management'. The government teachers wanted their headteachers to improve their leadership practices in the area of personnel management' and school leadership and management'. The private teachers wanted their principals to play a more active role in professional development in-service' and relations with parents and the community.' The study provides insight into an under-research area of teachers' perception about leadership approaches of principal in a developing country by using PLAQ, a questionnaire adapted for Pakistan as part of the current research. The results might prove useful to further the understanding of leadership and management practices in the context of the professional development of principals. The study also provides a foundation for further research and adds a measurement tool to the leadership and management literature.

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