Service quality and leadership in public preschool education in Malaysia

Muda Ismail, F 2013, Service quality and leadership in public preschool education in Malaysia, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Service quality and leadership in public preschool education in Malaysia
Author(s) Muda Ismail, F
Year 2013
Abstract The purpose of this thesis is to examine the factors contributing to service quality in Malaysian public preschool education. Due to the facts that private preschools are more preferred compared to public preschools, the issue of service quality had been brought up. The exploratory study identified the factors of quality through interviews with parents, teachers and agencies providing public preschool education. Guided by quality elements in Early Childhood Education Rating Scale Revised or ECERS-R (Harms et al. 1998), an instrument was developed to get a general picture of teachers’ and parents’ views. This thesis also aimed to identify the links between service quality and leadership in preschool education. An instrument on leadership particularly based on Sergiovanni (1984) ‘Forces of Leadership’ was utilized in the study. This thesis employed concurrent multi-method designs that combine both qualitative and quantitative methods by utilizing semi structured interview and self-administered questionnaires.
Content analysis was utilized to analyse the interviews containing findings on service quality factors. While in quantitative study, factor analyses were conducted to identify factors contributing to quality and important leadership roles in preschool education. The links between service quality and leadership roles were addressed using multiple regression analysis.
Based on results using both qualitative and quantitative methods, seven factors of quality in Malaysian public preschools were identified: school values, school atmosphere, health and wellbeing, teachers, facilities, interactions; and educational experiences. The elements that were significant with Malaysian context in providing preschool service quality were the emphasis on Islamic education, the encouragement of integration among multi-ethnics and the emphasis on English language for non-native speakers.
The roles of leaders had positive relationship with the provision of preschool service quality. This study addressed the roles of leaders that were essential to be applied in improving quality. Planning the school operation was the most important role of preschool leaders in providing service quality. It happened to be so as the other roles: managing teaching and learning process; and cultivating culture were included together in ‘planning’. Furthermore the possession of leadership quality such as skills and knowledge in leading also played significant roles in service quality.

Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Keyword(s) Malaysian preschool education
service quality
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Created: Tue, 22 Jul 2014, 16:45:33 EST by Maria Lombardo
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