Relationship between the head master and teachers

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INTRODUCTION

The relationship between the Head master and teachers in the school organization has always been the focus of much discussion. The discussion has centered on how the actions and behaviors of the Head master affect the work that teachers do and ultimately the students they instruct. Teachers' willingness to persist in their efforts to tech difficult student, to try different strategies, even to participate in innovations has been related to their sense of efficacy (Hoy & Woolfork, 1993). Ross (1995) in his research on teachers' sense of efficacy demonstrated that teachers who believe they are effective set more challenging goals for themselves and their student, take responsibility for student outcomes, and persist longer when faced with obstacles in teaching students who are having difficulty. Researchers has supported the position that teachers' efficacy significantly relates to student achievement (Nemman & Rutter & Smith, 1989) and teachers' receptivity to change. In this work, Ross (1995) suggests that efforts to improve student learning should include attention to teachers' sense of efficacy.

Leithwood (1992) provides support to the claim that principals demonstrate strategies and behaviors that can increase teachers' efficacy. In his studies, he described Heads' leadership behaviors as having a direct affect on innovation and change as well as teacher performance both in class and out of class. Leithwood (1994) defined behaviors such as models behavior, inspires group purpose, provides contingent reward, holds high performance expectations, and provides support as being important to teachers in the school organization. Blasé and Blasé (1989) found that Heads who gave constant and immediate feedback fostered among their teachers stronger feeling of efficacy.

Teachers' effectiveness may also be correlated to background variables such a gender, in-service training, years of experience, and educational level. (Ross, 1995). Edwards (1996) in her study indicated that females responded with stronger sense of efficacy with regard to problems in the classroom than males and that there is no correlation with educational level. Bibson and Brown (1982) found that experienced teachers (more than five years) have a strong sense of efficacy than beginning teachers. Other studies fail to substantiate the findings that years of experience relate to efficacy. There is limiting and conflicting evidence that background variables of gender, years of experience, in-service training and educational level may have moderating effects on teachers' efficacy. If teacher efficacy affects teacher performance and student achievement, than it is worth looking at what background variables affect teacher efficacy in order to better understand what we can do in the school organization to make teachers feel more able to do their work.

Statement of the problem

In Pakistan, at the time of independence, the education system was largely comprised of private and local schools run by district councils and municipal governments. At that time these schools were much independent and much decisions of the school matter were taken by the head and teachers of the schools. It was a system in which the central and provincial ministries of education played only a limited role in the operation of schools (Ahmad and Mirza, 1975). This trend continued till the year 1972. That year marked the nationalization of all private schools with the implementation of Martial law regulation 118 (Government of Punjab, 1982). Under its provisions, the rights, properties and assets of private colleges and schools were taken over by the central and provincial governments without compensation to the owners. The salary scale and conditions of employment for teacher previously in private institutions were brought to par with those in government schools.

This situation was a great dismal for the democratic and decentralized school system in Pakistan. Not only Head teachers but teachers also were affected in terms of decision making and authority. The head masters and principals of the schools came under the direct control of ministries of education. Top level officers started to decide the matters related to the admissions, curricula and teacher affairs instead of teachers of the school or the head masters of the school.

Due to this centralized situation Head teachers also became rigid and undemocratic which resulted ineffective teachers. Research has supported that teacher is the main actor in the education of a child, therefore he must be well equipped with necessary tools of teaching e.g certification status, experience and necessary teacher training (demographic characteristics), moreover with these things he must be satisfy with his profession, knowledge and skills (Hipp, 1995),

This study will examine how the leadership behaviors of Head masters as perceived by teachers at the secondary school level correlate with their efficacy in the Schools of Hyderabad Division. Also, the extent to which this relationship is moderated by the select teacher background variables of gender, years of experience, and educational level will be studied.

Research questions

In order to guide this study following research questions are developed for investigation in this study:

  1. What is the relationship between teachers' sense of efficacy, both general and personal, and teachers' perceptions of their principals' leadership behaviors?
  2. Does the level of teacher's sense of efficacy, both general and personal, differ with respect to the select background variables of gender, years of teaching experience, and educational level?
  3. How do principals foster teachers' efficacy in their schools?

Significance of Study:

The purpose of this study is to better understand how Head master affects a teacher's sense of efficacy. The decisions a Head makes, activities, and behaviors that describe what he does on a day to day basis will be explored in this study, and an attempt will be made to relate these behaviors with teachers' efficacy. This study also examined how background variables of teacher affect their sense of efficacy. The select teacher background variables described in this study are gender, years of teaching experience, in-service training and educational level. .

Limitations of the study

  1. This study is limited to teachers and principals employed in secondary schools located in Hyderabad Division Therefore, the generalization of the results of this study is limited to Districts with similar socioeconomic characteristics.
  2. The credibility and dependability of the data in the qualitative part of the study will be established through taped interviews.
  3. Insuring confidentiality of all teachers who will respond to both surveys and the interviews, every effort will be made to have the interviews remain confidential

Definitions

Leadership behaviors:

The principal leadership behaviors used in this study are: fostering vision and goals; holding high expectations; providing intellectual stimulation; providing individualized support, developing collaborative decision-making structure and symbolizing good professional practice.

Self efficacy:

Self efficacy is a construct originated by Albert Bandura to describe an individual's belief in his or her own capabilities.

Teaching efficacy:

Teaching efficacy refers to a belief in the power of teaching.

Personal efficacy:

Personal efficacy refers to one's perceived ability to influence classroom events.

Methodology

The major focus of this study will be to examine how teachers' efficacy is affected by their principals' leadership behaviors in 20 Secondary schools of Hyderabad Division. It will also be examined that how variables among teachers such as gender, years of experience, and educational level affect teachers efficacy. The study will be conducted in two phases and will combine both quantitative and qualitative methods of investigation in secondary schools of Hyderabad Division.(With the implementation of Devolution Plan of present Government, the boundaries of Hyderabad Division are changed. As the topic was approved for Hyderabad Division, therefore the same geographical areas are included in this study which were previously included in Hyderabad Division).

Population of the study

Population of this study is all the secondary school teachers of four districts which were previously included in Hyderabad division i.e. Hyderabad district, Dadu district, Badin district and Thatta district.

Sample of the study

A sample of ninety five teachers and twenty five Head masters will be drawn for this study from the population of all the twenty schools of four districts. The random sampling will be stratified by dividing the schools in clusters of male and female.

Methods and procedures

The study will be conducted in two phases. In phase one quantitative data will be collected to address the first two research questions. The instruments will be developed by the researcher according to the local conditions. In the preparation of instruments a number of formats are considered to be evaluated particularly the pattern of Teacher Efficacy Scale (TES) by Gibson and Dembo (1948). The data, using instrument will be used to make the quantitative analyses in order to determine the relationships between teachers' perceptions of leadership behaviors and teacher efficacy, both general and personal. Data from background information that the teachers completed and the Teacher Efficacy Scale will be analyzed in order to determine the relationship between teacher efficacy and the selected back ground variables of gender, years of teaching experience, and educational level. In addition to check teachers' efficacy, student performance of the teacher will also be measured.

In phase two a qualitative follow-up study will be conducted to address the research question-How Head masters at the secondary school level can foster teachers' sense of efficacy in their schools? In order to address this question, the five schools with the highest aggregated efficacy scores will be selected. At least three teachers will be interviewed at each school. They will be randomly selected from those teachers who will indicate that they are willing to participate in the follow-up study. The questions that will be asked will be designed to give more in-depth information on how Head of schools foster teachers' sense of efficacy.

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