ERIC Number: EJ944729
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 86
How School Leaders Perceive the Leadership Role of Middle Leaders in Singapore Primary Schools?
Koh, Hak Hiang; Gurr, David; Drysdale, Lawrie; Ang, Li Li
Asia Pacific Education Review, v12 n4 p609-620 Dec 2011
Middle leaders are "recognised as a significant source in ensuring that quality education reaches out to pupils" (Low and Lim "1997", p. 77) for they are "the human link between national education policy as manifested in school-level strategic planning...and the teaching staff whose "field tactics" are used to implement such strategies" (Chew "2008", p. 135). This study investigated the leadership role of middle leaders in Singaporean primary schools, as seen from the perspectives of principals and vice principals. Principals' perceptions are important as they are the "ultimate school leader" (Hammersley-Fletcher and Brundrett "2008", p. 13) and "the extent of the middle leadership remit is delimited by the range and extent of tasks on offer and this is controlled by the head teacher" (Hammersley-Fletcher and Strain "2009", p. 5). This study used a hermeneutic phenomenological methodology (van Manen "1997") to examine the leadership role of middle leaders in Singapore primary schools. Semi-structured one-on-one interviews were used to collect data from 12 principals and vice principals. The interview data were analysed using an interpretational analysis system adapted from in Tesch ("1990", pp. 92-96). The purpose of this paper is to provide a rich description of the leadership role of middle leaders as perceived by the school leaders. Seven major themes were identified: (1) teaching and learning; (2) building vision and setting directions; (3) leading and managing teachers; (4) communicating; (5) continuing leadership development; (6) changing role; and (7) challenges. The findings reported in this paper corroborated with the findings presented in other studies of middle leadership (e.g. Adey and Jones "1998"; Blandford "1997"; Busher "2005"; Busher and Harris "1999"; Glover et al. "1999") and illustrated the complexity of the leadership role within the middle of the school hierarchy. The paper concludes with a discussion on the connections with the broader successful school leadership literature.
Descriptors: Educational Policy, Strategic Planning, Educational Quality, Foreign Countries, Instructional Leadership, Principals, Administrator Attitudes, Hermeneutics, Administrator Role, Phenomenology, Interviews, Leadership Training, Educational Administration
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore