This study investigated how a head teacher’s decisions were informed by her prior professional experiences in coping with the challenges in the initial years of headship in Government Secondary School in Pakistan. It is a qualitative case study of a newly promoted female head teacher with twenty-nine years of teaching experience, posted in the same school. Multiple data collection tools (interviews, observations, document analysis and field notes) were used to collect data about the inquiry. The study found that decision-making processes and professional experiences were co-related in teaching and learning, managing the staff, efficient and effective placement of the staff, strategic planning and development of the school, and resource management and accountability. Other factors, which influenced the head teacher’s decisions were: pressure from high management and the community, accountability, personal values and priorities, and relationships with stakeholders. The study recommended that policy makers provide support and professional development opportunities for novice and aspiring head teachers and has raised questions for further exploration.


Professional Development, Decision-Making, Influence of Professional Experiences, Pakistani Educational System, Administrative Conflicts, Qualitative Case Study


Sumaira T. Khan is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Iowa. She received her M.Ed and M.Phil from Pakistan. Her research focuses on females in educational management, particularly women in developing countries. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Sumaira Khan at, sumaira-khan@uiowa.edu.

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