Study of the perception of government school head teachers about the role of Professional Development Teachers
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
The professional development teachers (PDTs) were expected by their school management and the Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, to work with their headteachers and their colleagues in schools and initiate changes for school improvement. In the Pakistani context the role of headteachers as instructional leader is still not recognized. They are playing their roles as administrators. This is the reason that professional development teachers faced challenges and did not get support and encouragement from the headteachers, in the process of change for school improvement. The study was conducted in two government schools in order to understand the head teacher's perceptions about the role of professional development teachers (PDTs) in school improvement. A case study method was used to gather relevant information within a qualitative paradigm. This method helped to understand the perceptions about the role of the PDTs. A variety of data collection tools were used to triangulate information for reliability and validity purposes. The study findings suggest that in the beginning the PDTs seemed to be ambitious in bringing about change. Therefore, sometimes they did not consult their heads. At the same time, the headteachers were un-clear about the role of PDTs so they resisted the change, and dealt with the PDTs as ordinary teachers. The headteachers did not encourage PDTs to work with the teachers in order to develop their skills. The PDTs were asked to teach the students and prepare them to achieve good results in the examination. But gradually, PDTs learned that without the cooperation of headteachers, they would not be able to initiate change. The study also suggests that there appeared a mismatch between the perceptions of PDTs and of headteachers about school improvement. PDTs saw their role in the professional development of teachers as improving students learning, whereas, the headteachers thought the PDTs should help them in maintaining school discipline. As time passed, the headteachers started appreciating the PDTs role as change agents and facilitators in the teachers' professional development. However, the PDTs' role has not yet been officially recognized by the senior officers in the education department The study proposes some recommendations, which include: (a) recognition of PDTs' role at the government level; (b) school-based professional development programs; (c) strategic school development plan; and (d) professional development of headteachers and supervisory personnel. These recommendations may help headteachers and others to understand the PDTs' role in school improvement.
Kirmani, N. (1999). Study of the perception of government school head teachers about the role of Professional Development Teachers (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.