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Assisting Educational Change in Oman through Developing School Leaders: the Principals Leadership Training Project

Al-Alawi, Mohammed Ali Masoud (2015) Assisting Educational Change in Oman through Developing School Leaders: the Principals Leadership Training Project. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This study is based on researching a national project as a case study: the Principals Leadership Training (PLT), which was initially introduced in 2007 by an international consultancy from the United States, and then scaled up nationally by the Ministry. Throughout the PLT project, over 1,200 school leaders were trained through a cascade model of training delivery from 2008 to 2013. The training programme included two phases: the first on transformational leadership and the second on instructional leadership, with an aim to build the capacity of school leaders to lead change at their schools. The focus of this study is to research the preparation of school leaders from an international, comparative and cross-cultural perspective through the use of the PLT as a vertical case study. Consequently, the study aims to answer four key questions - the first being ‘What motivated the decision to initiate the PLT project, and why did participants want to join?’ The second question is, ‘How and to what extent has the PLT project impacted on the leadership development of school principals?’ The third question asks ‘What cross-cultural insights into school leadership training can be gained from the PLT?’ The fourth question to be answered is ‘What are the implications for leadership development theory, policy and practice from a cross-cultural perspective?’ A vertical case study methodology was used in this study with the purpose of comparing vertically, transversally and horizontally the international, national and local levels. Data were collected from the programme’s participants through five focus groups in each of the three regions selected through purposive sampling, followed by individual interviews with 15 experienced and 15 less experienced school principals from the focus group participants through maximum variation sampling. In addition, interviews were conducted with the providers of training at local level (local trainers), national level (master trainers and policy makers) and international level (PLT designers). The findings have shown changes in how the policy and plan of the PLT were implemented at regional level due to the cascade model of delivery. Also, the findings have shown a misalignment of policy and practice between the levels of national, local authority and schools. Additionally, the data have shown that the theoretical models used in the PLT were not appropriate for the context from a cross-cultural and comparative perspective as they were based on ontological considerations that are irrelevant to the current context of Oman. As a result, the study drew implications for theory, policy and practice. The implications for theory were by claiming the need to adapt the current theoretical frameworks of transformational and instructional leadership to the context of Oman, by considering the level of decentralisation and to the reality of the practice. For the implications policy and practice, by proposing a model for policy and practice for Oman through adaptation to provide more potential to apply the instructional and transformational models. In addition, the study has proposed a model to improve the practice of the progression of school leaders in a way that is linked to a national scheme of professional development.  

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Education reform, educational leadership
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mr Mohammed Al Alawi
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2015 13:11
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2015 13:11
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9976

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