School improvement program: A case study

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The purpose of this study was to examine the key factors associated with sustaining an effective educational program. This study set out to explore the question, What lessons can be learnt from the school improvement program initiated at a school in Karachi? The study was a descriptive case study of one exemplary program in a school in Karachi. A naturalistic, responsive inquiry approach was employed through in-depth interviews, combined with documents, reviews and observation as data source. The key participants included the school principal, a head-teacher, professional development teachers (PDTs), head of the departments (HODs.), teachers, parents, and the Human Resources Officer to the program. The participants were interviewed in person for approximately 30-60 minutes. Findings of the study reveals that shared leadership, or collaboration, has a major influence on the institutionalization of a program and must not be overlooked as an important factor in sustaining a program. School personnel at all levels should be engaged in the partnership if it is to be sustained. The support and enthusiasm of the principal and the headteacher for collegiality and collaboration are especially important to the school staff at the initial stages. Central office support of a collaboration effort is also essential for setting goals, determining desired outcomes, and setting directions that lead to acceptance by others at the local school and community network of education system. This program had a focus on developing the leadership potential of the head-teacher. Head-teachers do not always recognize these qualities in themselves and need encouragement to become leaders. Because values are central to successful leadership, emotional and cognitive development and intra as well as interpersonal skill development, recognizing the intimate link between the personal and the professional, between the development of the individual and of the organization, is paramount. Finally problem solving and managing competing Dissertation Abstracts MEd V Class of 2002 26 forces must be key components of leadership training if schools are to become high achieving learning communities.

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