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Abstract

Background & Objectives: In 2001, Qatar began a comprehensive education reform (Education for a New Era) based on RAND's recommendations for building an educational system that would meet the country's changing needs. The reform introduced innovation into the country's education system, including a standards-based curriculum, professional development programmes for teachers and for leaders, and a new system for assessment. One aspect of the reform was the introduction of the National Professional Standards (NPS), which have had a significant impact on school leaders' roles. As a recent two-year study conducted by the RAND Corporation in 2007 states, despite the many positive effects of the reform, more change is needed to support schools and teachers. School leaders are currently facing challenges in their role of leading and managing the school community. The school model in Qatar, post-reform, has increased both autonomy and accountability for leaders. The objective of this study is to explore the perceptions of school leaders in Qatar. The prime reason underlying the focus on leaders' perceptions is that leaders are at the heart of any educational change. Methods: This study follows a qualitative method using initial interviews, observation and in-depth interviews in four primary schools in Qatar. The participants are the senior managers in each school. Preliminary Results: School leaders believed that working in a school under the reform was better than the rigid approach they had experienced in Ministry of Education schools. They expressed the view that while the NPS offered advantages, it nevertheless lacked clarity and left them to rely on their own skills when it came to implementation. More importantly, there were few guidelines from the SEC to implement the NPS more effectively. It was also discovered that how leaders perceived the change affected its implementation. These perceptions ranged from total awareness to lack of sufficient knowledge of the new policy. The school leaders exhibited a very positive opinion towards the reform. However, some of the leaders expressed a need for more training on how to lead their team better.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHPS4
2012-10-01
2020-09-28
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHPS4
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