Towards leading effective secondary schools in Abu Dhabi, UAE: stakeholders’ perceptions

Al Ahbabi, Nafla Mahdi Nasser Mubarak (2016) Towards leading effective secondary schools in Abu Dhabi, UAE: stakeholders’ perceptions. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The modern and post-modern world has tried to attend to the factors that lead to effective schooling. The School Effectiveness (SE) movement investigates the characteristics of effective schools and how these characteristics may lead to improved pupil achievement. This study explores the characteristics of effective secondary schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) context, together with the effectiveness of their leaders from the perspective of these schools’ stakeholders, namely principals, teachers, students and parents. In particular, the main aims of the study are first to identify the key factors that contribute to effective schools in UAE secondary education and second to outline the strategies for improving schools and school leadership professional development requirements.
The study employs a mixed-methods, sequential, exploratory strategy to understand the perceptions of UAE key education stakeholders. Firstly, 46 principals, 138 teachers, 136 parents and 142 pupils filled in questionnaires and then, for added validity and reliability, ten school principals were also interviewed in the second part of the study.
What is striking about the study’s findings is that the two instruments – the survey and the interview – did not, in most cases, lead to the same homogeneous results, as the results deduced from the questionnaire did not totally corroborate those realised from the interviews.
Key education stakeholders in the UAE proposed three strategies – vision, teamwork and school climate – in order to improve SE in Abu Dhabi. Induction leadership programmes, internal self-evaluation and external evaluation are not considered by the majority of principals and their subordinates to be salient and efficient strategies for improving schools. This is due, presumably, to the lack of logistical procedures and evaluation organisms in place through which schools can internally gauge their degree of effectiveness against lucid standards, indicators and benchmarks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi Education Council, school effectiveness, school effectiveness research, school improvement, international school effectiveness research project, continuing professional development, effective school , International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Professional Learning and Leadership
Supervisor's Name: Britton, Dr Alan and Forde, Prof Christine and Townsend, Prof Tony
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Mrs Nafla Mahdi Al Ahbabi
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7032
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 15:43
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2020 09:31
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.7032

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