Leadership practices in early years education: A case study of a private school head teacher in Chitral
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Professional Development Centre, Karachi
The importance of Early Childhood Education and Development (ECD) is well-recognized worldwide because it lays the foundation for lifelong learning and holistic development of a child. ECD focuses on providing opportunities for optimal development of children, including an emotionally safe and healthy environment, supporting interaction and relationship among stakeholders and stimulation. The holistic development of children in schools requires strong coordination amongst all stakeholders and the school leadership plays a key role in facilitating this coordination. This study intended to find out a head teacher's orientation to and practices of ECD in the context where ECD is relatively a new subject. To capture a comprehensive picture of the head teacher's understanding and leadership practices in relation to ECD, multiple methods within the qualitative research paradigm including semi-structured interviews, general observations, shadowing, focused group discussions and document analysis were used. Similarly, attempt was made to understand the head teacher's role through multiple layers of perspectives of ECD teachers, parents, students and the head teacher herself. The findings of the study captured different realms of the head teacher's role and practices in promoting ECD in the school. These included her role in the facilitation of children's learning and overall development, helping to develop appropriate curriculum, stimulating learning environment, and building partnerships with parents. Her strategies of showing positive behavior, being a role model, demonstrating visionary, collaborative and dynamic leadership were identified as fundamental aspects of effective leadership in early years in this particular context. The findings of the stud y may be useful to head teachers and teachers of ECD, parents, and policy makers. Since the role of the head teacher is directly associated with all the stakeholders of a school. Therefore, the study recommends that this aspect must be given more attention to further strengthen the needed capabilities of head teachers. This can ultimately improve the academic and social environment of early education setting.
Nigar, B. A. (2013). Leadership practices in early years education: A case study of a private school head teacher in Chitral (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.