A distributive approach to instructional leadership: Challenges for female principals in Ethiopian Secondary Schools
Distributed leadership has been the subject of considerable educational research and discourse in recent years. In effective schools, principals lead in a manner that is conducive to effective teaching and learning and, in the process, sets the conditions to support and nurture collaborative teaching and learning. This can cause a huge challenge to some principals, specifically in Ethiopian secondary schools were female principals are still in large minority and often feel not empowered and competent enough to lead effectively. The main purpose of this study was to identify the major challenges faced by female principals in Ethiopian secondary schools when using a distributed approach in practising instructional leadership and to suggest possible solutions for these challenges. The study employed a qualitative research approach by using face-to-face semi-structured interviews as research instrument. The sample of the study consists of a number of five (n=5) secondary school female principals in the Haramaya district of Ethiopia that were randomly chosen for the study. Some of the major findings of the study are that female principals in this district experience challenges such as a lack of knowledge and skills, a lack of support from educational authorities at different levels, low awareness and participation of stakeholders in instructional leadership, a lack of instructional resources and an inability to empower stakeholders to take on their respective instructional leadership roles. In conclusion, recommendations are suggested based on the major findings of the study.
Keywords: Female principals; instructional leadership; Ethiopia; secondary schools; distributive leadership.