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Sustainable school improvement : a case study of the needs of two Bangladeshi schools



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The purpose of this study was to identify the major school improvement needs and related strategies for two Bangladeshi secondary public schools based upon the perceptions of in-school professionals, parents, and students. To implement the study, I employed the constructivist/interpretive paradigm with a case study as my research design. The data collection techniques of document analysis, Nominal Group Technique (NGT) meetings, and individual interviews were utilized. For the purpose of NGT meetings, from each school, one teacher group, one parent group, and one student group were interviewed. After the completion of NGT meetings, individual interviews were held with one participant selected from each NGT group. I also interviewed the headmasters of the two schools. This study revealed that in a Bangladeshi educational context, major catalysts for improvement were market mechanisms and educational policies. The most significant finding of this study was that considering contextual applicability before implementing new initiatives was a critical strategy toward achieving sustainable school improvement in Bangladesh. The data indicated that in these schools, desired improvement efforts mainly consisted of two clusters: identifying the key school improvement needs and developing the strategies to meet those needs. The data revealed that the identified school improvement needs can be grouped into providing the resources and improving the school culture. To enhance school effectiveness, these Bangladeshi schools need to recruit more specialized teachers, implement effective instructional methodologies, elevate the image of teaching profession, and provide teacher-led professional development. Participants identified other suggested school improvement needs to be: low student-teacher ratio, good textbooks, more extracurricular activities, and more instructional materials (such as, computers, projectors, televisions, sound system, and so on). This study also revealed a strong perception that the role of collaboration in improving school culture is crucial. Participants explained that in order to successfully implement improvement initiatives, major challenges to the process need to be addressed. Participants identified three important barriers to implementation. These included lack of attention to the voices of all stakeholders during policymaking, the misuses of private tutoring or coaching, and lack of commitment among some of the teachers in their teaching. Findings affirmed that these barriers could be addressed by including all stakeholders’ voices in educational policy-making, addressing the misuses of private tutoring or coaching, and making teachers more accountable. A number of implications for theory, practice, policy, and further research arose from this study. Participants noted that teachers, parents, students, teacher-training authority, Bangladeshi Government, Non Government Organizations, school administrators, and district administrators were co-responsible within their own capacities to provide the necessary support and resources for school improvement in Bangladeshi context.



Sustainability, Sustainable school improvement, School improvement, Contextual school improvement, A case study of the needs of two Bangladeshi sc, School effectiveness, Improvement needs



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational Administration


Educational Administration


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