An explorative study into the influence of principal’s leadership style on building and nurturing students’ leadership in a school: a case study of a private school in Sharjah

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This thesis explores, through a qualitative approach, the possible influence that the school’s principal has on student’s leadership. The current educational reform projects in the UAE and the UAE national agenda focused on building capacity in students and teaching lifelong skills. Three theoretical frameworks are used in this research study, Transformational Leadership Theory presented by Burns (1978), Youth Leadership Development Model presented by Redmond and Dolan (2016) and Emotional Intelligence Theory presented by Salovey and Mayer (1990). The methodology adopted was qualitative exploratory in nature designed to understand the principal’s practices that promote students’ leadership practices. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with students, teachers, a vice principal and the principal. To ensure triangulation of evidence, data was also elicited from observation and document analysis. Several themes were identified based on this research study, building capacity, curriculum implementation, leadership building initiatives and principal’s elevating effect as elements that promote students’ leadership. Additionally, policy restrictions and peer pressure as possible barriers to student leadership. It is recommended that this research study is further expanded to other similar context schools to verify the findings of this research study.
principal leadership, student's leadership, transformative leadership, youth leadership, United Arab Emirates (UAE)