Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Duane M. Covrig

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Janet Ledesma


Problem. Over the last decade, the Ministry of Education in Kuwait undertook the responsibility of reforming the Kuwaiti education system. While it noted the importance of school principals in this reform process, it has not yet focused on the development of school leaders through formal preparation. There were no standards set to guide school leadership development programs in Kuwait. The purpose of this study was to survey Kuwaiti educators to identify the professional educational program standards they believed were needed and important for public school principals. It surveyed their suggestions on which institutions would be best at providing training in these standards.

Research Design This study used a survey and statistical analysis to investigate the perception and beliefs of Kuwaiti educators about educational program standards. The survey consisted of 54 questions that addressed 10 educational leadership program standards. These were Vision, School Culture and Instructional Learning, Management and Operation, Community Relations, Ethics, Politics and Law, Technology, Research, Internship and Mentoring, and Worldview. Teachers and administrators were selected from the Ministry of Education school districts and two higher education institutions. A total of 997 educators from all school levels (except Kindergarten) and all six school districts responded. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) were run with follow-up use of a t -test and one-way analysis (ANOVA).

Results. There were four major findings in this study. First, Kuwaiti educators accepted all 10 leadership program standards for school principals. Although, Internship and Mentoring scored the highest mean of all standards, and Community Relations received the lowest mean, all 10 educational leadership program standards scored very high. Second, the Kuwaiti educators reported that all 10 standards were very important for educational leadership programming. Once again, Internship and Mentoring had the highest mean, and Community Relations as well as Research the lowest; but all 10 standards scored as very important standards of an educational leadership. Third, MANOVA and further t -tests or ANOVA indicated there were statistically significant differences between the participants based on gender, occupational area, school districts, the school level (elementary, middle, and secondary), level of education, years of experience incurrent position, and years of educational experience. However, these small differences were likely related to the large population sample size and not considered practically significant for this study. Four specific items within the standards that were highly rated were positive communication, shared leadership, trust, and positive relationships with school board, staff, parents, and teachers. Finally, 57% or more of Kuwait educators reported that the Ministry of Education is the best entity to deliver these 10 educational program standards. Approximately 30% thought that higher education institutions and public educational associations should provide the delivery of the standards. In addition, approximately 20% believed private professional development training companies should provide this training.

Conclusion. Overall, the results confirm the usefulness of these 10 standards for establishing educational leadership programs for school principals in order to help them meet principal job expectations. The broad consensus among Kuwaiti educators provides strong support for the Ministry of Education to work to formalize standards that can guide in principal professional development. This study provides rationale and specific suggestions for development and implementation of standards and highlights a special focus on internships and mentoring, as well as the development of trust and communication skills among principals. This study concludes with suggestions for areas of research and practice that may help Kuwaiti educators in their work of school reform.

Subject Area

School principals--Kuwait, Public schools--Kuwait, Educational leadership--Kuwait, Leadership

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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