Collaborative management and school effectiveness in Malaysian primary schools
The thesis investigates variations in effectiveness of six Malaysian primary schools in three kinds of geographical sites: urban, rural and resettlement areas. It also focuses on the perceptions of headteachers, deputy headteachers, and teachers about school effectiveness, leadership/ management style of headteachers and collaborative management culture. The research explores the tensions that exist between the ingrained assumptions of Malaysian education and the practices and attitudes of headteachers, deputies and teachers. Detailed interview research on effectiveness and managerial collaboration is highly significant in enhancing understanding of education in Malaysia. The findings also make a further contribution towards international and cross-cultural perspectives of `school effectiveness' and `collaborative management'. Although generally the understandings of what constitutes collaborative management and what constitute the effectiveness of schools are still in their infancy in Malaysia, however, this does not mean that they are not important to the Malaysian educators. The need for collaborative management in Malaysian primary school is getting greater as the country moves towards `Vision 2020' and obviously this need is not adequately provided for in the present education system despite the Ministry's directive. More emphasis on policy making, awareness, commitment and training are needed for better application of the collaborative management. At the same time better communication and relationship between headteachers, teachers, DEDs, SEDs and the Ministry should be enhanced. This research also suggests ways in which training for headteachers in the area of collaborative management may be helpful for the more effective function of the schools. For collaborative management to be a success, artistry is required, to know when and how to exercise the various components of leadership so that a collaborative culture that brings success can be developed and maintained in schools. Although there is relatively little disagreement concerning the belief that headteacher's management styles have an impact on the lives of teachers and students, both the nature and degree of that impact continue to be open to debate.