Headteachers as leader of change in primary schools in Cyprus

Temete, Irene (2011). Headteachers as leader of change in primary schools in Cyprus. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000ed8c


This study investigates how primary school headteachers of Cyprus lead a particular change, namely ICT implementation. Specifically it investigates the leadership styles headteachers use when leading the particular change, focusing on the possession of attributes of transformational, transactional and passive leadership.

In addition, it seeks relationships between headteachers' leadership styles and particular variables such as headteachers' beliefs about this change, headteachers' educational background and headteachers' training in leadership and management. Moreover, it explores teachers' perceptions of their headteachers' leadership styles and how these affect teachers' beliefs about the particular change. It finally examines headteachers' perceptions about their training for headship and for leading change attempting to identify deficiencies and needs they have when leading change.

In order to investigate the research topic and address the research questions a survey, along with interviews and document collection, were conducted. Instrumentation included questionnaires distributed to headteachers and teachers, interviews conducted with them and document analysis which included minutes of staff meetings. The questionnaire sample consisted of 95 primary schools, giving 95 headteachers and 475 teachers (5 teachers from each school). Responses were received from 42 headteachers and 207 teachers. Five headteachers from the respondents who gave consent were selected and interviews were conducted with them and with three teachers from each school. Also minutes of staff meetings from the same schools were collected for analysis.

Findings reveal that headteachers of this study report using more transformational leadership styles than transactional or passive ones however possessing higher levels of some aspects of transformational leadership and lower levels of others. It was found that while headteachers are concerned with their teachers' personal, professional and intellectual needs they have difficulties in addressing these needs by providing intellectual stimulation and modeling behaviour on how to implement ICT more effectively. They also report dissatisfaction with their training for headship as well as for leading change and define a number of needs that would enable them to carry out their role more efficiently and effectively and possibly use higher levels of transformational leadership practices. These needs reveal that headteachers expect from the Ministry of Education and Culture to act more as a transformational leader. Teachers were found to agree with headteachers' responses in most of the issues, however with some difference in the mean of each variable. This could imply that teachers have higher expectations from their headteachers and need them to act even more as transformational leaders. In addition, headteachers' beliefs about change were found to affect all dimensions of transformational leadership, whereas no correlation was found between beliefs and transactional leadership. Correlation was also found to exist between all dimensions of transformational leadership, as well as contingent reward, and teachers' beliefs about change. Finally, no relationship was found between headteachers' educational background as well as knowledge in leadership and management with their leadership styles, other than that of educational background with vision and modelling behaviour.

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