About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7072-7080
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0617

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF BUILDING LEADERSHIP CAPACITY IN LOW-FEE PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN WEST AFRICA

P. Cordeiro, C. Brion

University of San Diego (UNITED STATES)
The year 2000 marked the beginning of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For the first time in world history eight goals, ranging from universal primary education to ensuring environmental sustainability, were identified with a target that those goals be met by 2015. Although that did not occur, the fact that 198 of the world’s nations set goals and began to gather baseline data in order to measure progress is, in itself, a major achievement. Setting the MDGs was historic and “galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest” (United Nations 2015). This paper describes the research and leadership development training that targeted MDG Goal 2: Achieving Universal Primary Education in seven sub-Saharan nations.

In 2007 an international non-governmental organization (NGO) named Edify began work in several developing nations. In these nations basic school (k-8) completion rates ranged from 44 to 65 percent with females completing grade eight at lower rates than males. Edify provides micro-loans to low-fee independent schools in developing nations, but they strive to do more than simply loan money. Their goal is to build the capacity of each of the schools receiving microloans. One key way Edify builds capacity is to provide training for principals and head teachers. There is considerable debate about the effectiveness and affordability of low-fee independent schools, so there is urgency in conducting research regarding their efficacy since significant private investment is being made.

After visiting and interviewing a wide variety of school personnel and government officials in one particular country (Ghana), a team of nine researchers decided that given the limited resources and capacity of the NGO, leadership development efforts for Edify should target:
1) adults, not children; and
2) proprietors and head teachers/principals rather than teachers.

We based our theory of action on the school leadership literature, which details the key role school leaders play in improving student learning outcomes. Additionally, there is rampant criticism in the development literature about how NGO’s do little to build local capacity. Too often Westerners oversee the operations of thousands of NGOs with no plans to transfer leadership to local country citizens. As a result using a train-the-trainer (TOT) model we approached our leadership development in each of the developing countries in which Edify works, with a focus on when our team (Westerns, non host country citizens) would exit the country. Thus, a TOT model is being implemented in each of the five African developing nations in which Edify currently works.

The purpose of this paper is to:
1) describe the evidence-based content of the leadership development training;
2) outline the train the trainer model; and,
3) report the findings of a randomized-control trial that explored to what degree the content of the leadership training modules transferred to school settings.
@InProceedings{CORDEIRO2016AQU,
author = {Cordeiro, P. and Brion, C.},
title = {A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF BUILDING LEADERSHIP CAPACITY IN LOW-FEE PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN WEST AFRICA},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0617},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0617},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {7072-7080}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Cordeiro AU - C. Brion
TI - A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF BUILDING LEADERSHIP CAPACITY IN LOW-FEE PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN WEST AFRICA
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0617
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 7072
EP - 7080
ER -
P. Cordeiro, C. Brion (2016) A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF BUILDING LEADERSHIP CAPACITY IN LOW-FEE PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN WEST AFRICA, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 7072-7080.
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