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Title: The Preparation of Deputy Heads to Become Head Teachers of Secondary School Head in Negara Brunei Darussalam
Author: Sion, Habibah
ISNI:       0000 0001 3416 2196
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2007
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The main focus of this study is the 'route of learning' taken by Deputy Heads as they learn to be Heads, and how this preparation is achieved in Brunei's secondary schools. It is felt that the Ministry of Education in Brunei does not yet have adequate strategic and systematic pl~ in place to prepare deputies for headship. The preparation practices that do exist are carried out on an 'ad-hoc' basis for example the sending of some selected Deputy Heads for training either locally or abroad. Additionally, the issue of preparing for headship is very new in the field of academic research in the Brunei context. According to e.g., ERIC search, local research has been concerned with the training and development of school Heads, and identifying the skills that they required, but none have.focused on specifically investigating in depth how to develop those skills. Since independence in 1984, Brunei's industrial and economic development has been rapid, creating an increasing demand for more skilled and educated manpower to participate in national development. The government's response to these developments has been to give high priority to HRD with special emphasis on education, training and development. Since educational establishments play a very important role in the production of a quality workforce needed by the country, this study focuses on institutional. development with !articular emphasis on the development of managers or leaders particularly Heads of Schools and their Deputies. If the quality of education and training is to be achieved, school managers must be enterprising, visionary, quality conscious and most important, contribute effectively to successful schooling. School leaders are therefore expected to be knowledgeable, skillful and have the competencies to meet the changing economic environment and also the existing and future educational challenges. To meet this requirement and expectation, effective preparation of school leaders is of paramount importance and it deserves to be given serious consideration. Given this background, the study aims to examine the existing process in the preparation of school leaders, particularly in terms of 'experiential learning' which underpins part of 'modes of learning' from the aspect of informal (daily experiences, previous job experiences and acting headship), relational learning (networking within the school management team and mentoring or coaching) and formal learning (training and qualification). The study also examines the current practices and policy developments in respect of school leadership development. ,The study applies a qualitative case-study method in which semi-structured interviews. constitute the main data-collection technique, supplemented and enriched by diary keeping and telephone interviews to elicit information on the perceptions, experiences and views of school Heads and Deputy Heads at the school and ministerial (policy makers) levels. A total of 17 key stakeholders, mainly school Heads and Deputy Heads, and policy makers participated in the study. A survey by telephone was conducted for all government secondary schools (Head and Deputy Heads) at the initi~ stage of the study to carry out the selection of the respondents using purposive sampling in order to narrow down the number of respondents for further research using a case-study method. The study reveals'a number of key findings which should be noted and also should be applied in the current school setting. Firstly, the respondents agreed that informal and relational aspects ofleaining provided them with the~ opportunity to understand and learn their own personal strengths and weaknesses including skill gaps and knowledge. Interestingly, the nature of networking and mentoring activities between Head and Deputy Heads. influenced the respondents' perceptions of team-work, learning and the kind of 'leade~ship style' which in tum influenced the perceptions of deputy heads as their 'future reference' for positive and negative role modeling. Therefore, such variables should be given special attention by the school and ministerial level officials in the efforts to . improve the process of preparing deputies to be school Heads. The study also shows that most respondents (deputy Heads) were not aware ofthe 'sub-conscious learning' they had gone through via informal ~pects oflearning un&l they were asked questions for the purpose ofthis research. Secondly, in the area of formal learning (training and qualification), the study shows that not all schools are managed by well qualified and trained leaders. A few school leaders have been trained in educational managementwhile others have not been trained. likeWise, Deputy Heads in some schools have been groomed for future Heads while in other schools grooming has not taken place. The existing leadership training that is being offered at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam, namely; MA Educational Management and Leadership of Educational Programme, has been viewed by the respondents as 'inadequate' to meet the needs of existing and future school Heads. The study also revealed some deficiencies in the current system. These include the absence of a systematic procedure for recruitment and selection of future Heads, the absence of training policy for preparing the Heads and teachers in schools and the reliance on 'ad-hoc' procedures in the preparation for headship. Some form of 'standardization' is needed so that in future the procedures for preparing school heads can be applied consistently across schools. I An interesting finding of the study is that the three categories of stakeholders (policy makers, Head Teachers and Deputy Heads) are consistent in their perception that the three aspects of learning, namely: informal, relational and formal, are important for the preparation of school heads. These aspects of learning, therefore, should be incorporated consciously and offered to all officers who are identified as future school heads. The study concludes with a number of suggestions for improving current practices. [t is proposed that certain principles could be adopted as a framework for guiding the successful preparation of school leaders in Brunei secondary schools. This study is by no means an end in itself. There are suggestions . . on areas for further study such as the issue of 'know/edge transfer' for trained school heads and why some school heads do not fully internalize their leadership and management training; issues on professional and organizational socialization, and generalization for future research and comparative studies with other sectors or regional level organizations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available