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Hairon Salleh
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The role of middle managers in supporting school leaders especially in the area of the curriculum is a highly significant one. However, research studies investigating curriculum leadership by middle managers pale in comparison to studies investigating curriculum leadership by school principals. This is not surprising considering the multiple roles that middle managers enact besides attending to only the curriculum. Furthermore, although school principals are increasingly delegating the curriculum aspects of their work to middle managers, they are not negating their responsibilities as curriculum leaders. On the contrary, their effects on the curriculum have increasingly become more indirect as highlighted by Hallinger and Heck (1997), albeit termed as instructional leadership.

The main purpose of this research study was to explore the perceptions of middle managers in curriculum leadership and the contextual factors that influence their curriculum leadership. The research questions are, (1) What are the perceptions of middle managers on their own practices as curriculum leaders in a Singapore primary school? (2) What are the contextual factors that influence middle managers on their own practices as curriculum leaders?

Using the case study method, a Singapore primary school was the site for fieldwork and the school was chosen for its full complement of middle managers (twenty-five in total) as well as the school’s achievement in the academic and non-academic domains. Data was collected from structured interviews, focus group discussions and minutes of department meetings. The study revealed that as curriculum leaders, middle managers define eight areas of their work in curriculum leadership. In addition, the middle managers are influenced by contextual factors, summarized in the PIE factors (Personal, Internal and External factors). This study developed the conceptual framework of curriculum leadership of middle managers. The framework portrays a more succinct and realistic account of curriculum leadership of middle managers in schools.

This study extends the current body of knowledge on leadership practices enacted by middle managers. In addition, it also contributes to policy and practice on matters of curriculum leadership for middle managers. The findings from the study could assist decision-making on the future directions for grooming middle managers. It can also align practice with theory as well as school systems with the larger intent of people development in schools. Organizations involved in the development of middle managers can review their programs based on the information and insights provided by the findings. Such insights can help modify, strengthen and upgrade existing programs. The study can also contribute to the field of human resource development, particularly in the approach, design and process for professional development for middle managers. School leaders and heads of department can understand and identify with the data. The findings can help them to reflect on their internal approaches and processes in curriculum leadership and development.
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LB2806.15 Lee
Appears in Collections:Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

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