How does Culture Impact on Educational Leadership in Samoa?
Faaulufalega, T. P. (2008). How does Culture Impact on Educational Leadership in Samoa? (Thesis, Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2260
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2260
The aim of this research was to explore the relationship between culture and the educational leadership of six secondary school principals in Samoa. Educational leadership is a bounded process and is subject to the cultural traditions and values of the society in which it is exercised. To date, no research has been undertaken on this topic in Samoa.This qualitative study used a semi-structured interview process to gather data from the secondary school principals who had been principals for more than three years in government schools. It also sought to explore how professional development of the principals might be undertaken. The principals in this study were interviewed both face-to-face and by telephone.The findings revealed that culture significantly impacted on their leadership. The matai culture was particularly influential. For example, respect, Christianity, role modelling and the importance of using the Samoan language to communicate within the school context were all influential. The findings also revealed the effective leadership styles applicable to Samoan school context in relation to indigenous cultural leadership. For example, inclusive/consensus/collaborative leadership style that is practiced in Samoan culture is effectively used by principals to lead schools. The organisational culture of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture in Samoa (MESC) also considerably impacts on educational leadership. For example, the policies from the MESC sometimes contradict with the practice of the principals, such as the principal's practice of corporal punishment is a crime in the MESC and United Nation policies. This research also revealed the gap between the western models of leadership and the Samoan indigenous cultural context and leadership practice by the principals. Therefore, all the principals involved in this study positively engaged with their Samoan cultural values and beliefs to lead schools effectively. However some Samoan indigenous cultural values and beliefs impact negatively on the education system. They need to be considered so as not to inhibit the development of educational leadership of Samoan principals. Today's education has grown rapidly in terms of technology therefore educational leaders must adapt and change their leadership. Principals must be professionally trained so that they would lead effectively.According to Smith (1992, p. 9) To change education is to change society
The University of Waikato
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