Exploring culturally responsive leadership practices in international private schools in Dubai

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The cultural diversity in the city of Dubai is high. Accordingly, it is important for its schools’ leaders to lead their schools by using a leadership style, which is appropriate for this context. The purpose of this study is to examine the ways and also the extent to which culturally responsive leadership is being practiced by heads of departments in the international private, middle and high schools in Dubai, UAE. The Challenges that heads of department face while leading based on culturally responsive practices are also determined. The relationships between head teachers’ culturally responsive practices and their related knowledge and training and their life experiences are examined. This study is underpinned by a culturally responsive leadership theory and uses a mixed method approach to generate data to achieve the research aim. Data was gathered from 14 heads of departments by conducting semi-structured interviews and 278 heads of department by doing a survey. Some elements of culturally responsive leadership were being practiced at a high level by the heads of departments. Some of these elements were practiced in an almost similar ways in different schools like being available for students, teachers and parents. While, some of the others like having caring behavior were practiced in more varied ways by different heads of departments. Information provided in this study can be used for planning to make a balance for equally practicing all elements of culturally responsive leadership at a high level.
International schools -- Administration., United Arab Emirates (UAE), leadership style