Thriving instructional leadership practices and functions in challenging contexts : lessons from two Nigerian principals.
Olaoluwa, Adebiyi David.
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The purpose of this study is to account for instructional leadership practices and functions of principals that succeed in challenging contexts and to know how these principals demonstrated these behaviours and functions so that the contextual realities could not limit nor hinder them from achieving high academic performance in their schools. Literature on instructional leadership practices and functions in challenging contexts is limited. Moreover, how instructional leadership practices and functions can suppress contextual realities has not been sufficiently explored. Hence, this study engaged in qualitative research situated in the interpretivist paradigm to build a case around two successful Nigerian principals serving in challenging contexts. These two principals were purposively selected alongside eight teachers from the two schools where the principals served. Documents such as school prospectuses, minute books, time books, staff rosters and other vital documents were purposively selected to uncover the instructional leadership behaviours and functions of principals who succeed in challenging contexts. Data from the study participants were obtained through semi-structured individual interviews and focus group interviews. Thematic abstraction was used to analyse and give meaning to the data. Emerging from this study is that principals who are able to achieve high learner academic achievement in challenging contexts demonstrate instructional leadership behaviours and functions which are guided by thinking leadership, building synergy and exerting discipline. Thus, applying the insights emergent from this study, principals serving in challenging contexts can overcome their contextual realities and thereby achieve high learner academic performance in their schools.