Perceptions towards Distributed Leadership in School Improvement

  •  Firas Shakir    
  •  Jinan Issa    
  •  Paiman Mustafa    


In spite of the sizable growth in the number of empirical studies tackledthe distributed form of leadership over
the past decade, the bulk of this research isa case study. Relatively few published studies have investigated the
impact of distributed leadership on school improvement; therefore, the current paper attempts to investigate
TESOL teachers’perceptions towards distributed leadership and school improvement. The theoretical framework
for this study is grounded on the multifactor transformational/transactional leadership model (Bass, 1985, 1990;
Bass & Avolio, 2000). Two TESOL teachers from two different schools, in Pulau Penang, were interviewed
regarding this phenomenon, which is still in its infancy stage. The study encourages a distributed leadership
perspectivethat assists in building the academic capacity of schools as a means of improvement. Besides, it
argues that the distributed perspective proposes an important theoretical lens through which leadership
practiceswithin a school can be reconfigured and reconceptualised.The findingsshow that there are two different
applied forms of leadership in the two schools. On the one hand, the first interviewee reveals her approving
perceptions towards the distributed form of leadership as she praises the principal’s characteristics, whilst the
second interviewee, on the other hand, expresses her disapproving perceptions towards the control form of
leadership through criticising the current principal’s characteristics. A further finding exposes that the
prevailingdistributed form of leadership does contribute to the school improvement. On the contrary, the current
control form of leadership in the other school produces school’s deterioration.

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