The Effectiveness of ADEC’s Professional Development for Principals in Al Ain Government Schools, UAE.
This study investigated the extent to which professional development provided by the
Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) helped principals in Al Ain government schools to lead the new five components of change in their schools. The study was guided by three research questions and used the mixed research method. Data were collected through a questionnaire, individual interviews, and focus group interviews.
The questionnaire was divided into four sections. The first section included demographic information of participants. The second section included eleven statements addressing the school principals' perceptions towards professional development programs conducted by ADEC. The third section was comprised of twenty-two statements that assessed the effectiveness of professional development programs on the principals' leadership skills and practices in reference to the new five components of leadership in ADEC schools. The effectiveness of the PDs was also assessed by the school teachers as they answered the questionnaire giving their opinions about how the PDs helped principals in leading schools. The last section of the questionnaire included three open-ended questions which were used with the interviews data to help interpret the results of the research questions.
The questionnaire was distributed to principals and teachers in 110 schools in Al Ain from all cycles (K-12). It was completed by 62 principals and 702 teachers. The means, cumulative means and standard deviations were used to assess the effectiveness of, ADEC's professional development programs. The cumulative means, T -test, ANOVA, and multiple comparisons were used to answer the second question of whether the perceptions towards professional development programs differed according to position (principals and teachers), gender, and experience within each group. The third question was answered by analyzing answers to the open-ended questions and interviews. The results of the study showed that professional development programs provided by ADEC to principals in Al Ain government schools were effective in the five areas. In addition, the study found that the perceptions towards the effectiveness of ADEC’s PD programs differed according to position, gender, and experience. Teachers rated the effectiveness more than principals. Male teachers also rated the programs as more effective than female teachers did. Finally, school principals and teachers agreed that the programs could be improved further by designing individual professional development plans for each school principal. The study concluded that involving school teachers and principals will increase the effectiveness of the PD programs.