Innovation in Educational Management and Leadership: High Impact Competency for Malaysian School Leaders

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<ul><li> 1. 1 Innovation in Educational Management and Leadership: High Impact Competency for Malaysian School Leaders By Rosnarizah Abdul Halim Amin Senin, PhD Abdul Razak Manaf Institute Aminuddin Baki Ministry of Education Malaysia Abstract This study was aimed to identify the High Impact Competencies for Malaysian School Leaders. An instrument named Instrumen Kompetensi Pemimpin Sekolah (KOMPAS ) were developed for this study. KOMPAS consists of 26 competencies grouped into six domain namely the Policy and Direction, Instructional and Achievement, Change and Innovation, People and Relationship, Resource and Operation and Personal and Effectiveness.Factor analysis was used to identify the structure of the instrument by using the principal component extraction and varimax rotation. The -Cronbach values for all the items were above 0.95 thus shows that the instrument had a high reliability and validity. 596 head teachers and school principals throughout Malaysia had participated in this study in order to identify their perception of their level of competency mastery and their level of competency need. The respondents were selected through stratified systematic random sampling. KOMPAS was also administered to 140 officers in the Ministry of Education (MOE), State Education Department (SED) as well as the District Education Department (DED) throughout Malaysia. This served as a form of triangulation to identify which competency the officers perceived as having future and strategic needs. Descriptive statistic was used to describe the school leaders mastery and need while minimum composite score was used to identify the high impact competencies. The result of the study showed the overall level of competency mastery of the head teacher and principal were moderate, while the officers in the MOE, SED and DED gave a high value of future and strategic need for each competency. This study also identified the following competencies as high impact competencies for Malaysian School Leaders; 1)Managing Change, 2) Quality Focus, 3) Managing of ICT 4) Decision Making 5) Problem Solving 6) Performance Management 7) School Improvement and 8) Capacity Building. Keywords: Educational Leadership, Competency </li></ul><p> 2. 2 1. Introduction Training and development of school leaders and school effectiveness had always catches the eyes of researchers and policy makers and had created a polemic in finding suitable training program for educational leaders (Anderson, 1991; Hanapiah, 1980; Hussein, 2007; Ibrahim, 2007; Leithwood, 1995; and Olson, 2007). Research showed that leadership training has no direct relationship with school effectiveness since what was learned in university or training institutes would not be able to cater the real need in school leadership and management (Amin &amp; Abdul Razak, 2008; Leithwood, Begley and Cousins, 1994; Hughes, Ginnett &amp; Curphy, 1993). However, there were researches that support the ideas that leadership training able to enhance and develop the knowledge, skill and attitude of school leaders as well as future leaders (Bush, 1998; Nur Anuar &amp; Faridah, 2006; Ruhaya, Rosnarizah &amp; Shariffah, 2006). As the National Institute for Educational Leadership and Management, Institut Aminuddin Baki (IAB) was commissioned to create and develop remarkable school leaders through training and development. In line with this mandate, IAB was in constant effort to enhance and improve its training program. Focus was given toward continuous professional development for school leaders. In year 2008 IAB had introduces the Managing Educational Leadership Talent (MELT) which focuses on the elements of continuous training and development. MELT consists of five important elements that interconnected and related to one another: Growth Oriented Training and Development (Khair, 2007), High Impact Training and Development Initiatives (HITI), Leadership Competency Assessment (LCA), School Leadership Competency (SLC) and its output which is the High Impact School Leadership. The relationship of the five elements in MELT is shown in Figure 1. 3. 3 Figure 1: Managing Educational Leadership Talent Framework GOTD is the core of MELT and serve as input for HITI as well as LCA. HITI and LCA are two approaches employed by IAB to carry out GOTD hence translate the output of MELT into High Impact School Leaders (HISL). However, the hub of every processes involve in MELT is the School Leadership Competency (SLC). It is therefore, imperative for IAB to develop the SLC in order to materialize this framework. The School Leadership Competency was derived from an elaborate study on the trend of educational leaderships traits. MacBeath (2004) had identified 25 leadership traits relevant to the management and leadership practices in schools. A thorough review of literature showed that the leadership traits were known by its adjective expressions such as instructional, participative, democratic, strategic and transformational. These labels compliment the differences in leadership traits and methodology in achieving two main objectives in effective organization which is organization goal setting and influencing 4. 4 members towards the achieving the organizational goal (Leithwood et al, 2004). This extensive review of literature produced the High Impact School Leadership Model which encompasses six leadership traits: personal leadership, managerial leadership, instructional leadership, transformational leadership, distributed leadership and value-based leadership as shown in Figure 2. Figure 2: High Impact School Leadership Model The competencies of each leadership traits were scrutinize and analyze into a generic competency suitable to the educational leadership and management in Malaysia. The analysis yield 26 competencies and were grouped into six domains which is Policy and Direction, Instructional and Achievement, Managing Change and Innovation, People and Relationship, Resources and Operation and Personal Effectiveness (Figure 3). 5. 5 Figure 3: The Competencies of Malaysian School Leaders 2. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study was to identify the High Impact Competencies for Malaysian School Leaders. 3. Objective of the Study 3.1. To identify the current proficiency level of competency perceived by the school leaders, 3.2. To identify the current need of competency perceived by the school leaders, 3.3. To identify which competency has future growth as perceived by the Ministry, State and District Educational Leaders, 3.4. To identify which competency is strategically important as perceived by the Ministry, State and District Educational Leaders, 3.5. To identify the high impact competencies needed by school leaders. 6. 6 4. Operational Definition 4.1. Competency refers to the combining element of knowledge, skills and personal attributes needed to perform certain task and responsibility. 4.2. School leader refers to the principal of secondary school and head teacher for primary school. 4.3. Ministry, State and District Educational Leaders refer to educational leaders currently serving in the Ministry of Education Malaysia, State and District Educational Offices. 4.4. High Impact Competency refers to the composite analysis based on the responds by the school leader, the Ministry, State and District Educational Leaders. The composite score is shown in Table 1. Table 1: Composite Score of High Impact Competency 5. Methodology This research employs descriptive quantitative methodology. The data collection was conducted through a survey method and was administered to the respondent without any manipulation on the subject. A cross sectional approaches were used to get the data. 6. Population and Sampling The population of school leaders in Malaysia was 10,058 (Educational Planning and Research Department, 2006). Proportionate systematic random sampling was used for sampling selection in order to have representative in each state in Malaysia. Though the x + 0.5 High Impact Competency x 0.5 Medium Impact Competency x - 0.5 Low Impact Competency 7. 7 minimum number of sample required is 370 (Krejcie and Morgan, 1970), we had selected 801 respondents to ensure that the data is adequate. 7. Data Collection Procedure There were three phases involve which is the field test, pilot test and actual data collection. The field test was conducted in order to get feedbacks on the instrument used in the survey. Five school leaders were chosen and were asked to response on the appropriate wordings, number of items and the overall instruction in the instrument. The instrument was then reviewed based on their feedbacks. The pilot testing was conducted in the month of February and Mac 2008. Fifty school leaders were involved in the test. They were mainly the participant in Institut Aminuddin Baki (IAB). To ensure high rate of return, the data collection was made through a half day colloquium session in IAB Genting Highlands and IAB Northern Branch in Jitra, Kedah as well as in Sabah and Sarawak. The instrument were collectedat the end of the colloquium. 8. Instrument Instrument Kompetensi Pemimpin Sekolah (KOMPAS ) is a self assess instrument, whereby the respondents have to give honest responds on their proficiency and needs for each item. KOMPAS was developed through several stages, which is constructing the item, validating the instrument and pilot testing and reliability of the instrument. 8.1. Items Construction The development of KOMPAS was based upon 26 competencies in the Competencies of the Malaysian School Leaders as shown in Figure 3. For each competency three to five items were constructed. Altogether there were 110 items constructed. KOMPAS was distributed to five school leaders for field test. Based on their feedbacks one item had been dropped and modifications were made to several items to make it clear and more comprehensible. 8. 8 8.2. Validating the Instrument The opinion of three distinguished expert in educational leadership and management were seek for content validity of the instrument. The experts were two full professors and a senior lecturer from two universities in Malaysia. The input from the experts were used to improve the instrument. 8.3. Pilot testing and reliability of Instrument The feedback received from fifty school leaders who had participated in the pilot testing shows that KOMPAS was appropriate and easy to answer. Most of the participants were able to complete the instrument within 30 minutes. The value of -Cronbach for all the items were above 0.96 thus shows that the instrument had a high reliability and validity (Nunnally, 1978). 8.4. Data Collection 596 head teachers and school principals throughout Malaysia had participated in this study in order to identify their perception of their level of competency proficiency and their level of competency need. KOMPAS was also administered to 140 officers in the Ministry of Education (MOE), State Education Department (SED) as well as the District Education Department (DED) throughout Malaysia. This served as a form of triangulation to identify which competency the officers perceived as having future and strategic needs. Descriptive statistic was used to describe the school leaders proficiency and need while minimum composite score was used to identify the high impact competencies. 9. 9 9. Findings 9.1. Objective 1: To identify the current proficiency level of competency perceived by the school leaders Figure 4: Mean of Competency Proficiency Level of School Leaders 9.2. Objective 2: To identify the current need of competency perceived by the school leaders Figure 5: Mean of Competency Need of School Leaders 10. 10 9.3. Objective 3: To identify which competency has future growth as perceived by the Ministry, State and District Educational Leaders Figure 6: Mean of Competencys Future Growth Perceived by the Ministry, State and District Educational Leaders 9.4. Objective 4: To identify which competency is strategically important as perceived by the Ministry, State and District Educational Leaders Figure 7: Mean of Competencys Strategic Needs Perceived by the Ministry, State and District Educational Leaders 11. 11 9.5. Objective 5: To identify the high impact competencies needed by school leaders. 9.5.1. Composite Score of High Impact Competency for Head Teacher Figure 8: Mean of Composite High Impact Competency for Head Teacher (Mean: 62.5) Mean= 62.5 H M L 12. 12 9.5.2. Composite Score of High Impact Competency for Principal Figure 9: Mean of Composite High Impact Competency for Principal (Mean: 62.7) 10. Discussion The result of the study showed the overall level of competency proficiency of the school leaders were moderate (Figure 4) with total mean of 3.74 (Appendix 1). The overall competency needs of the school leaders were moderate with total mean of 3.60 (Appendix 2). Analysis on the responses by the Ministry, State and District educational officers showed a high value of future and strategic need for each competency (Figure 6 &amp; 7). Figure 10 shows the composite analysis of proficiency, need, strategic need and future growth based on the domain of competencies. The analysis showed that there is a gap of what expected by the stakeholder as compared to the need of the school leaders. The gap could only be narrowed by continuous professional development either by IAB or other training provider. Mean= 62.7 H M L 13. 13 Change Management Quality Focus Managing ICT Decision Making Problem solving Implementing School Improvement Capacity Development Performance Management Principal Head Teacher Figure 10: Mean of Domain of Competency Based on Competency Proficiency, Need, Strategic and Future Growth Figure 8 shows the composite score of high impact competency for head teachers. The high impact competencies for head teachers were Managing Change, Managing ICT, Quality Focus, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Implementing School Improvement and Capacity Development. The high impact competencies for school principasl were Managing Change, Managing ICT, Quality Focus, Decision Making, Problem Solving and Performance Management (Figure 9). Figure 11 shows a Venn diagram of the high impact competencies for Malaysian School Leaders. Figure 10: High Impact Competency for Principal and Head Teacher 14. 14 11. Implication Reaserch and development (R&amp;D) is a valued approach in field outside of education (Hallinger, 2009), Among the steps used in most R&amp;Ds are 1) identified a problem, 2) sought information through synthesis and new research, 3) developed tools that applied knowledge, 4) use in practice, 5) evaluate result 6) improve tools and contribute back to knowledge. The study had indeed completed two cycles of R&amp;D and able to provide important data for stakeholder in planning an accurate training and development program for school leaders. IAB had taken a step further in intensifying the uses of KOMPAS among the school leaders by...</p>