Faten Alsari


Education is finally embracing school leadership as an important component in reform schools. School leaders have become central for building schools that promote powerful teaching and learning for all students. Therefore, well-prepared principals help to change schools and improve instruction. In contrast, the shortage of qualified school leaders has intensified interest in leadership development as a major strategy for developing schools and education. The purpose of this research was to conduct a training needs analysis for women in educational leadership in Saudi Arabia by identifying the gap, if any, between the current skills and the desired skills for female school principals. Two different online instruments surveyed 65 school principals and 155 teachers to identify the current skills and the desired skills for school leaders. An important limitation of the survey was the translation of both surveys from English to Arabic and then the translation of the responses from Arabic to English. Furthermore, another limitation is that the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Higher Education’s culture may lack an understanding of the importance of obtaining the right skills for being in a leadership position, so the researcher may have been unable to determine the participants’ views on specific leadership skills and qualities as a result. After obtaining approval from this study’s committee and the Institutional Review Board at Pepperdine University, findings from 225 participants who took the online surveys were analyzed. Based on these findings the researcher derived implications and the recommendations. Some of the findings showed a gap between the current and desired skills for principals from the teachers’ point of view. In addition, there was a gap between the teachers’ and the principals’ perception of current and the desired skills or principals. Therefore, female school leaders in Saudi Arabia should be trained in leadership development courses to help them to create learning cultures and supporting environment to improve students’ learning. Moreover, the researcher found that the desired leadership skills that were collected from the participants were aligned with leadership skills found in the literature.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; School principals -- Saudi Arabia; School principals -- Training of

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Stephens, Ronald;