Principal as a leader of learning: a case study in four secondary schools in Fiji

Year: 2019

Author: Devi, Mohini

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Quality teaching in Fijian secondary schools is essential to prepare students to succeed in higher education and careers. Increasingly students are turning from traditional jobs in sugar cane, farming, and fishing to jobs in the government and with large international corporations as even remote Pacific island nations find they are not immune to the influence of the global economy. The main research question that shaped this study was to what extent do principals demonstrate leadership for learning?

This study investigates the role of the school principals as leaders of learning as perceived by stakeholders. The aim of this study is to improve the leadership capacity of school heads to continue to improve the quality of students’ learning.Using a multi-case, qualitative inquiry approach with a mixed method design, data was collected through semi-structured interviews, documentary analysis, and questionnaires from four case study schools in the four divisions namely: Central, Northern, Western, and Eastern in Fiji. The major outcomes of the study were: 1. Professional learning must be embedded into the principals’ daily professional work. 2. Inclusion of pre-service preparation through post-graduate degrees and in-service programmes for leadership. This study is an important initiative because the findings can assist principals to become more effective leaders of learning in secondary schools. The study will also contribute to the research literature on the role and responsibilities of principals as leaders of learning in Fiji and in the Pacific Island Countries. The study will serve as a conceptual model for principals that will conceptualize and practice leadership for learning. This study has implications for social change that may lead to more relevant educational policy and practices that improve the quality of teaching and learning and the educational environment in Fiji and the Pacific Island Countries.