Ushering Change in 21st Century Schools and Who Should Lead: What Are the Prerequisites and Processes?

Ushering Change in 21st Century Schools and Who Should Lead: What Are the Prerequisites and Processes?

Ismail Hussein Amzat (International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3476-2.ch030
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


In the fast-paced field of education, change in school settings has reached its momentum and the debate on who is supposed to lead the change in school settings has been intensified. Leading change in a 21st century school engages the school principal, teachers, students, the community, and the government. In driving the change, a learner's achievement should be the ultimate goal for every school leader, since learning is the core business of every educational institution. Beyond the school community, parents and people in the community have a major role to play in their child's education, success of implementing change in school, as well as government providing sponsorship/strategic support to facilitate teaching and learning. In light of this collaboration in making schools better, this research has chosen qualitative methods to explore teacher's understanding in Northern State Malaysia of the role of school principals, teachers, students, the community, and the government in leading change in 21st century school settings.
Chapter Preview


Education has been ensured by the UNESCO to be the birthright of every man and woman in the world. Since the inception of UNESCO 1945, the organization has committed to use education a mechanism to build peace, eradicate poverty and pave ways for development and intercultural discourse. A New Year with a new revolution ushers in new demands and expectations. In today's schools, the way things are done is completely different from the yesteryear ones. The 21st century education organization is full of complexes and even more difficult to understand and manage as ever. Todays’ world is at its fast-pace and in order to cope with these changes and pace, we must change the way education is taught in schools and the methods of learning in our classrooms. The emerging of technology, globalization and knowledge- driven economy has contributed greatly to the rapid changes (McNeill & Engelke, 2014) accelerating unprecedented changes in schools and societies (Friedman, 2016 and Adam, Kutty and Zabidi, 2017). Due to variation of educational conceptualization, tensions have raised among educational leaders on how to lead, manage and administrate. Hence, they found difficult to leverage between priority tasks designed to uplift the academic staff, maintaining daily routine and operation and lower order duties (Adams, Kutty and Zabidi, 2017).

In the midst of achieving the expected goals, school leaders are expected to excellent instructional leaders to ensure a successful implementation of urban school reform (White-Smith, 2012). Learning is the core function of any educational institution and it is empirically proven that teaching comes as the first factor of learning and school leadership as a second to influence learning. Ultimately, student achievement determines the effectiveness of school leadership and classroom teaching.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Principal: An official leader that it is in charge of leading, managing, administrating school and development. In this chapter, it consists of school principals in the northern part of Malaysia.

21st Century: The current century or Era that starts January 2001 to December 31, 2100.

Teachers: The assigned and paid educators to teach in schools and responsible for student learning and achievement. In this chapter, it consists of teachers in the northern part of Malaysia.

Community: A group of people that live in the same place or together. In this chapter, it consists, particularly, parents or stakeholders in the northern part of Malaysia.

Northern Schools: Schools situated in the Northern part of Malaysia.

Malaysia: An Asian country, situated in Southeast Asia.

Students: Persons that study in schools or higher institutions. In this chapter, it consists of students in the northern part of Malaysia.

Leading Change: Talks about transforming the organization to achieve its objectives. In this chapter, leading change refers to transforming schools from its current position to better ones. It deals with schools responding to the global change and expectations in improving teaching and learning in northern of Malaysia.

Government: A group people or authority that in charge of governing state or country. In this chapter, if refers to the Ministry of Education, Northern Statement or District Educational Department in Malaysia.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: