Title

Exploring the experiences of school principals in the school improvement process : A case study of two model high schools in the context of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB)

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

This study is aimed at “Exploring the experiences of two Model High School principals in school improvement processes in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB)”. A qualitative research approach, and specifically the case study methodology, was adopted. The data was collected through online sources like phone calls, WhatsApp and emails due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown situation. Interview guides were used to collect data from the research participants. Success and failure of any institution is closely linked with the leadership practices exercised in the institution. The data findings indicate that the principal is a source of inspiration for the school community. Due to their inspiring leadership qualities, the principals of Model Schools were able to implement different strategies and practices, which facilitated school improvement in the context of the study. The strategy of engaging the school community in shared vision and decision-making process was helpful for the school leadership to develop a sense of ownership in the school community and for other stakeholders. It was found that school improvement requires contributions by internal and external stakeholders and their contributions help the school leadership to achieve desired goals. The dynamic personality of the school principal was instrumental in developing a friendly school environment which appreciated change and facilitated in the process of school improvement by providing emotional and practical support to teachers, parents and students. The key strategies employed by the principals in these schools included continuous professional development of teachers, classroom observations, and professional networking which led to the grooming of teachers and enhancing their pedagogical knowledge and skills. In addition, the findings also showed that the PrISM curriculum is helpful to understand the process of character building, students’ behavioral and attitudinal change, teacher professionalism, and school-community relationship. Similarly, integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the curriculum leads towards new teaching techniques and learning experiences related to both teachers and students. It also helps teachers and students to cope with the 21st century learning skills. The success stories, challenges and way forward explored by principals of both Model Schools shed light on and help understand the principals’ day-to-day experiences in the school improvement processes.

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