Model of Professional Enhancement and School Leadership

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The purpose of this study is to explore the 'Model of Professional Enhancement and School Leadership in a Pakistani Context'. This research will describe the effects of different form of professional development on teaching and learning in Karachi, public and private Primary Secondary schools, using survey methodology. This chapter discusses, the design of the study include a description of research hypothesis, teacher and administrator population and samples, survey instruments, teacher and administrator discussion procedures, independent variables, method used for collection and treatment of data, and the statistical techniques used.

3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN:

This research involves a descriptive statistic research study, exploring the existing achievements, attributes and behavior. It describes the development of coordination analysis with the behavior of the LPI and the relationship among the variables of school professional learning communities. Two survey instruments, LPI and SPSLC were used for collecting data. During Aug and Sep 2006 a survey entitled Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) was structured for school principals, based on thirty separate statements, refers five of the practices such as: Challenge the process, Inspire a Shared Vision, Model the Way, Enables others to Act, Encourage the Heart, in the explanation of the instrument. The statements were randomly placed within the context of the Likert Scales are as follows: Almost Never, rarely, Seldom, Sometimes, Usually, Very Frequently and Almost Always.

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The (SPSLC) School Professional Staff as a Learning Community will provide, an understanding of teacher's reflective perception on professional learning influenced by leadership practice inventory. The statements describing teacher's perceptions were coded using 17 descriptors of five dimensions. SPSLC labeled as: dim 1a Autocratic Style, 1b Participatory Management, dim 2a Positive and Shared vision for staff, 2b Positive vision for learner, 2c Positive Vision for Learning Process, dim 3a Collective Learning and Share Information, 3b Consideration and Learning Issues of Staff, 3c Teaching and Non Teaching Issues, 3d Improvement and Implementation of Learning Staff, 3e Assessment and Revision of Teaching Staff, dim 4a Vision and Observation of Classroom Teaching, 4b Class room Observation and Interaction of Learning Staff , dim 5a Arrangement of time for Staff Interacting, 5b School Condition and Capacity of Structure, 5c Staff's Communication and Trust, 5d Positive Relationship Among Staff, 5e Isolated and Collaborative behavior, representing each of the 17 descriptors from the SPSLC.

3.2 SAMPLE POPULATION:

The population of this study comprised of twenty government and twenty private schools in Karachi. This was a group study of teachers and principals practicing in public and private schools of Karachi, city district government schools are include.

These schools had a combined total of approximately 80 principals and 80 teachers. The leadership practice inventory (LPI) was asked to complete the questionnaire to each participating school principal as a self observer for their institution. The school professional staff as a learning community (SPSLC) questionnaire was filled by the participating school teachers.

3.2 CENSUS INSTRUMENT

(a) LEADERSHIP PRACTICE INVENTORY (LPI):

"The leadership practice inventory (LPI) has its origin in a research project Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner began in 1983".

LPI is one of the most renowned of the shelf instrument which is used world wide by researcher exploring the important attributes and behaviors of leadership. The importance and significance of LPI can be judge easily by the fact that it has the usage of more than one million people all over the world since past two decades. The results which are driven from LPI have proven it, a reliable and valid instrument used to measure leadership effectiveness. Moreover, the results have also shown that leadership skills and behaviors can be easily understood and learned.

An instrument is considered to be a good, if it possesses sound psychometric properties, the result should be reliable and valid. The validity of an instrument can be judged by its accuracy of predicting a performance. LPI has two validities i.e. fare and predictive. Fare validity shows that the results are significantly correlated with performance measures and can be use to predict effectiveness of leadership practices easily. This instrument is comprised of 30 statements to assess, the five practices of exemplary leadership framework and the LPI contributed richly to our understanding of the leadership process and in the development and unleashing of leadership capabilities. The validation of LP can be judged by checking the scores of LPI between high and low performing measures. This particular issue was examined by implementing discrimination analyses as classification technique to determine the effect of LPI scores on group managers which are classified under numerous performance based categories. The performance categories of the managers on LPI observer leader's effectiveness scale can be formed by placing the highest and the lowest third of the manager in a sample population.

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(b) SCHOOL PROFESSIONAL STAFF AS A LEARNING COMMUNITY (SPSLC)

"The school professional staff as a learning community (SPSLC) was developed by Dr. Shirley Hord (1997) of the south west Regional Educational Development Laboratory, in conjunction with the staff of the Appalachia Educational Laboratory. Originally designed as an assessment tool for a school that reinvented itself over several years, the SPSLC was created to "assess globally the maturity of a schools professional staff as a learning community." (Mohan and Iestsky & Sattes; 997, p. 4).

The SPSLC will show data on the organizational picture of the school district from the position of the staff members. This information will be used in developing a coordination analysis with the behavior of the LPI. Further more, it will provide an understanding of teacher's reflective perceptions on professional learning as influenced by leadership practices. This questionnaire is consisting of 17 descriptors grouped in to five major dimensions of professional learning communities.

"The field-testing on the SPSLC was conducted by the Appalachia Educational Laboratory confirming that the instrument was reliable in differentiating faculties of twenty one schools "in terms of their maturity as learning communities." (Meehan or Iestysky & Sattes, 1997, p. 4).

Observations and many discussions emphasis on the acceptance of every kind of , which is an important characteristic of productive learning community to work towards improvement. Many other qualities required to reduce isolation among staff such as: trust and respect, supportive conditions, cooperation and collaboration, increasing staff capacity, providing a productive environment, enhancement of effective communication and shared personal practices by administrators and relatively intensive socialization processes. Supportive conditions play a dynamic role to encourage staff members, which are not interested with the task given by the organization or administrator.

3.3 INFORMED CONSENT:

Each principal and teacher who agreed to take part in the research study was provided with an informed consent form regarding this research study. The informed consent form described the purpose of the study, procedures, possible risks and expected benefits associated with this research. Further, participants were assured confidently of the research records. To the best of researcher's knowledge, the research activities involved with this study posed no more psychological risk of harm than participants would experience in every day life.

3.4 DATA COLLECTION AND RESEARCH PROCEDURE:

To perceive the broad vision of professional development and the model of school leadership in a Pakistani context, permission was granted to conduct survey by Board of Advance Study and Research, University of Karachi. As the data collection procedures requires, census instrument to be filled by the teachers and school principals of various schools which are included in sample population. The population consists of twenty public and twenty private schools. Ten towns out of twenty were selected from Karachi city including Gulshan town, Jamshed Town, Saddar Town, North Nazimabad Town, Shahfaisal Town, Liaqatabad Town, Gulberg Town, Lyari Town, Malir Town and Korangi Town. Out of these ten towns, forty schools were selected among which 20 schools belongs to the private sector and 20 were of government sector.

Researcher visited each school to conduct the survey as the data were meant to be collected from teaching staff and principals on an individual basis, for that purpose some teachers demanded a limited time span to provide sufficient feedback and some of them responded instant. An introductory letter, as well as a letter of informed consent, regarding the nature of this study had been showed to the principals, to take permission for the distribution of census instruments among teaching staff. The letter of informed consent contained detailed information about the researcher and the doctoral program that was sanctioning this research project was also presented by the researcher along with questionnaires to each principals. The superintendents and principals who agreed to participate were asked to complete the Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI; Kouzes & Posner 1997) and principal the school professional staff as a learning community (SPSLC) questionnaire (Hord, 1997) to all professional i.e. certified staff members assigned to their schools. Principals were asked to provide a letter of confirmation of their willingness to participate in the study. The research explained the survey instruments verbally and also forward a cover letter reiterating the purpose if the research and the exact data collection process proposed along with a copy of the instrument to each principal. The researcher sought permission to conduct research in each respective school. Each high school participating in this study was coded as its serial numbers. To preserve anonymity, each school was coded with a number.

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Information packets including the following:

A cover letter explaining the procedure and survey administration

An informed consent form for completing the school professional staff as learning community (SPSLC) questionnaire and the leadership practice inventory (LPI) questionnaire.

The subjects which were invited to participate in the survey were teaching at least one secondary and one primary level course in a public and private school in Karachi that had grade configurations of Grade 1 to 5 and Grade 6 to 10. The participating schools were requested to return the surveys within 10 days. Telephone calls were made to each participating school to confirm receipt of the packets and to stress the timeline for return. While participation was voluntary, staff members were encourage for the participation and support in order to provide a clear representation of their learning professional community. Principals were sent a copy of each survey instrument to be completed and returned under separate cover of the survey instruments, each school returned the complete survey instruments. After carefully reviewing and discussing the survey instruments during team planning meetings one school district selected elected not to participate in the research study. A combined total of 80 survey instruments from respondents were returned by Feb 18, 2007.

Participants were instructed to fill in their gender and school name on the questionnaire. Rather they will be offered summary data indicating where their school was positioned for each dimension on the scale of a learning community. After the time period of six months data had been collected successfully which leads to the process of collection, selection and filtration of conducted data for the utilization of several statistical tests to obtained, key findings and results of the study from the sample population.

3.5 LIMITATIONS:

This study is not without limitations, the most obvious limitation is the small number of schools that participated in the study. The study is also limited in that the nature of the study will not provide a full picture of the degree of long term change that may occur in teacher's reflective practices. Another limitation is that teacher concerns, administrator concerns, and professional development activities were measure by self-report through the use of a survey based on teacher's perceptions and a record of professional development hours log provided the private and public schools of Karachi. This data collection carries with it the risk that respondents are not entirely honestly in his or her responses.

3.6 DELIMITATIONS:

The population of this study was delimited to a large numbers of schools. Center of focus in this study is schools of Karachi. Schools of different cities in all over the country were excluded. The time span for completion of the questionnaire by participants was one week in order to examine, the in depth observation of teachers easily, as well as to reduce the time span during which changes in opinion regarding principals behavior might occur.

3.7 STATISTICAL PROCEDURE:

The data from the LPI and the SPSLC will be evaluated using: descriptive statistics, including frequency distributions including mean, median, standard deviation and analysis of variance for each school and corresponding superintendent data. A person with a 2-tailed non-directional test will be used with the LPI profile data and the SPSLC profile data by using Pearson's correlation coefficient (i.e., relationship between two or more variables) across the dimensions of the leadership style of the school superintendent and their respective schools with the teaching staff capability to become a professional learning community.

3.8 RESEARCH QUESTIONS:

1: How do school administrators perceive their leadership style in the selected schools? This research question was designed to characterize the leadership style of the school principal or superintendent and his or her relationship with their staff. This question was designed to characterize the leadership style of the superintendent and principals of the sample schools. This information will be obtained from the superintendent's and principal's completion of the LPI. Scoring and suggested contextual definition foe an appropriate leadership style is suggested by Kouzes & Posner (1997).

2: How do school teachers perceive their reflection on professional learning? Using data procured from the SPSLC completed and submitted by the participating teacher's of the schools, a data analysis was conducted to using these variables with the SPSLC data from each school.

3: How does teacher's reflection on professional learning differ by administrator leadership style? This question intends to compare whether teacher's reflection on professional learning differ by schools with administrators of different leadership style.

4: What are the relationship between administrator's leadership style and teacher's reflection on professional learning? This question will be defined from the correlation procedures described using the school superintendents and school principal's LPI data with the corresponding school's SPSLC information.

Table 3.4: Research Questions and the Descriptors and Dimensions used

Research Questions

Descriptive / Dimensions used

How do school administrators perceive their leadership style in the schools?

Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI)

Dimensions 1 - 5

How do school teachers perceive their reflection on professional learning?

School professional staff as a learning community (SPSLC) Dimensions 1 - 5

Descriptors 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d and 5e

How does teacher's reflection on professional learning differ by administrator's leadership style?

School professional staff as a learning community (SPSLC) dimension 1 - 5

Descriptors 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, and 5e

What are the relation ship between administrator's leadership style and teacher's reflective perception on professional learning?

Leadership Practice Inventory (LP I)

Dimension 1 - 5 school professional staff (SPSLC)

Dimension 1 - 5

Descriptors 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, and 5e

3.9 SUMMARY:

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the educational leadership practice that impact teacher's reflection on professional learning and the capabilities of their school's to become professional learning communities. Chapter III described the general research design and qualitative methods used in the study. The school professional staff as a learning community (SPSLC) and leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) survey instruments were used to identify schools as case studies were described in detail.

The site of this study is 20 private and 20 public primary and secondary schools of Karachi. The questionnaire of LPI and SPSLC concerns teacher's perceptions about school staff and the principals as instructional leaders. LPI assessed the five major practices exemplified by transformational leaders LPI 1-5 dimensions observed the qualities of principals. Each item of the thirty statements contained in the instrument was scored using a seven-point Likert Scale. In this chapter we have discussed the validity and reliability of LPI, viewing different tables with their dimensions and descriptors to know how much LPI effective as an instrument. On the other hand SPSLC continuously gives attention to five attributes which are organizational arrangements of school comprised of 17 descriptors and helps to change school organization into a learning community. It provides a powerful communication to evaluate a relationship between teachers and principals. Calculated Data identifies the significant relationship by using Pearson's coefficient correlation. LPI and SPSLC will be evaluated descriptive statistics (mean, median, standard deviation, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and determine mean differences among LPI groups and relationship between two or more variables which are leadership style of the school principals and their professional staff's contribution as a learning community.