Title

Exploring headteachers perceptions and strategies of dealing with staff conflicts at the secondary schools in a rural context of Gojal, Gilgit-Baltistan

Date of Award

8-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Conflict is an integral part of school life where a number of people come together for common goals but with different personal beliefs, values, needs, capabilities, emotional intelligence and interests. When these differences are expressed or intervened by individuals, conflicts arise. Being an interesting area of investigation and my own personal engagement as a community leader with conflicts, I ventured to study conflicts in schools and how they are viewed by the immediate stakeholders i.e. head teachers and teachers. The purpose of the study was to explore the head teachers' perceptions and strategies in dealing with conflict at secondary schools in a rural context. To conduct this study, qualitative research paradigm best suited the purpose, and within that paradigm case-study was a more suitable method to investigate the area. The study was conducted in a rural setting, namely Gojal, a scenic place in the recently established province of Gilgit-Baltistan. The research participants, two head teachers and five teachers, were invited to the study from the public and private secondary schools. Data were gathered through semi-structure interviews, observations and document analysis. Data were then analyzed for themes, and sub themes, which then led to findings of the study. The findings revealed that private and public school head teachers perceive conflicts differently. The private school head teacher perceives conflicts as beneficial for personal and school improvement while the public head teacher thought that conflicts are good in a very rare case and it has negative consequences for staff relations, so it should be avoided. Both the head teachers used different strategies to deal with conflicts according to the nature and situations of the conflicts. The study makes a humble contribution to the body of knowledge on conflict management and resolution strategies of school heads in the context of rural areas of Pakistan.

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