The Role, Professional Development, and Challenges of Principals: Key Ingredients of School Leadership
The success of schools in the current era demands ever-increasing efforts from their principals. Professional development is an essential ingredient that enables them to work in diverse scenarios and deal with competing, complex, and unprecedented challenges and issues. The present study intends to explore principals’ professional development and its relationship with their roles and the challenges they face. Quantitative approach was employed to conduct this study. One hundred principals were selected based on the purposive sampling technique. Data were collected on a five-point rating scale from the principals of higher secondary schools in Lahore through a physically administered survey method. The questionnaire measured the participants' perceptions on three dimensions: professional development, roles, and challenges. Data were analyzed using the IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25. The impact of the professional development on the role participants’ play and the challenges they face in schools' leadership were calculated using the regression analysis technique. The study found that professional development was a significant predictor in school efficiency/improvement, and school success depends heavily upon the professional development and the role of schools’ principals. It also shows a need to reprioritize the roles that principals play in leading their schools. The challenges about students show that further professional development is required for principals to improve their efficiency in school improvement. The challenges due to financial resources also indicate the need for financial management. The study concluded that professional development should be monitored and kept updated to improve schools' leadership.