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Title: A qualitative inquiry into women principals' leadership in Malaysia
Author: Ahmad, Sakinah Binti
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 5840
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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The study explores the issue of women principals' leadership in secondary schools in Malaysia. From 2005-2013, the statistics provided by the Educational Planning and Research Division (EPRD), Ministry of Education (MoE), Malaysia, show that the number of women teachers in Malaysia is more than men. However, when it comes to the principalship of schools, the number of women principals is less as compared to that of men. To understand the way women principals enact leadership in the secondary schools in Malaysia, an interpretivist qualitative research approach was employed in this study. The study examined key priorities that determine the leadership of women principals, the interaction of women principals with the stakeholders, and what values they uphold in practising leadership. It further examined the challenges that women principals face when practising leadership, how they deal with the challenges, as well as the supports that exist for women principals' success and attainment of their priorities. The study attempts to understand these issues from women principals' own experiences and perspectives, as well as from the experiences, perceptions and attitudes of those they work with inside and outside the schools. A multiple case study research was designed to understand how four women principals practise leadership in the secondary schools in Malaysia. The inquiry was accomplished through semi structured interviews with women principals and the stakeholders both inside and outside the schools, as well as the observations of the meetings and other schools' events that involved the participation of the women principals. In addition, the inquiry was also carried out through the analysis of key documents such as minutes of meetings, school progress planner, school magazines, and planning for management and educational administration books. The findings of this study show that there are three main factors that shape and influence the leadership of women principals in secondary schools in Malaysia. These are; excellence (academic and non-academic), spirituality, and togetherness/kebersamaan. Excellent performance of students is a key priority for the leadership of these women principals. To attain and maintain this excellence, women principals are driven by their spiritual nature and culture that involve values of caring and sharing to lead in ways that are collective, reciprocal, and inclusive. The function of togetherness/kebersamaan symbolizes the commitment to achieving success/excellence as a collective rather than as individuals. The study concludes by highlighting context and culture as key factors shaping and influencing women principals' leadership practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Malaysia, Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi ; Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; LB Theory and practice of education