Distributed Leadership for School Improvement: Pakistani Cases Studies

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This paper aims to identify the leadership practices of head teachers of successful schools at secondary level in the Pakistani context. The primary aim of this study was to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of current leadership practices in schools through literature review and evidence obtained by case studies. To identify successful leadership practices of school heads in Pakistan the following core research questions were formulated which are addressed in this study:
 What type of leadership practices are employed by the heads of successful schools?
 Is there any similarity among leadership practices of heads of these schools?
 Do these leadership practices vary across different schools?

Estimated teachers in secondary schools were 53,520 (Government of Pakistan, 2005). Data were collected from each school using a multiple methods research design including review of related literature, documents demonstrating school achievements and student attainment, and in-depth semi-structured interviews with a variety of people including the head teacher, teachers, parents and students. This included semi-structured interviews with head teachers, teachers, parents and students. The head teachers, teachers and parents were interviewed individually but students were interviewed in groups. The evidence demonstrated that these successful head teachers led both the cognitive and the affective lives of the school, combining political (building alliances) and educational leadership (professional development and teaching improvement) with symbolic leadership principles (presence, inspiration) and distributed leadership practice (empowering others to lead). All the head teachers in this study had deliberately chosen a leadership approach designed to move the school forward, one that gave others the responsibility to lead and to undertake leadership tasks. In all eight schools the research found that distributed approaches to leadership prevailed and directly influenced approaches to problem-solving and decision-making. Within the study the heads saw the agency of staff and students as central to achieving the school’s purpose. The heads used a number of strategies for distributing leadership. These included involving others in decision-making, allocating important tasks to teachers and rotating leadership responsibilities within the school. A link can be made between distributed leadership and school improvement in all case studies.


Keywords: Instructional Leadership, Distributed Leadership, School Improvement, Successful Schools
Stream: Educational Leadership and Management
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Democratic and Distributed Leadership for School Improvement,


Dr. Azhar Mumtaz Saadi

Vice Principal, Federal Directorate of Education, Ministry of Education Pakistan
Islamabad, Punjab, Pakistan

Mr. Azhar Mumtaz Saadi, is B.Sc with major in Chemistry and Biology along with B.Ed. He earned his M.A in Islamic Studies from Islamia University,Bahawalpur. He also earned his Master in Education from the University of Punjab, Lahore. He has been serving as a Secondary School Science Teacher in the public sector since 1985. In 2004 he won Indigenous 5000 PhD fellowship from HEC Pakistan. He submitted his PhD (Education) thesis at the Division of Education, University of Education, Lahore in May 2008. Presently he is working as Vice Principal of a higher secondary school in Islamabad under Federal Directorate of Education.

Ashiq Hussain

Deputy District Education Officer, Punjab Education, Ministry of Education Pakistan
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Mr. Ashiq Hussain is pursuing his PhD in Education. He did his B.A honour with Economics along with B.Ed. He has earned the degree of LLB from the University of Punjab. Earned his M.A in Urdu, Political Science and Education. The researcher has also done his M.Phil in Iqbal Studies. Now He is serving the nation as Dy. District Education Officer. He has served against different administrative posts like, AEO, Headteacher in High Schools and the District Coordinator Officer for AIOU.

Dr. Naseer Ahmad Salfi

Elementary Teacher, Education Department Pakistan, Ministry of Education Pakistan
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Mr Naseer Ahmad is pursuing his PhD in the University of Education Lahore Pakistan.He has earned his Ma Education from the University of Punjab with distinction. Presently working as teacher in a high school.

Ref: L09P0249