University of Leicester
2022Maharaj-RamjattanSpHD.pdf (2.53 MB)

Deputy Principals’ experiences on their transitional journey from teaching to leading in the secondary schools in Trinidad

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posted on 2022-07-19, 10:38 authored by Sharda Maharaj-Ramjattan

This thesis examined the experiences of 20 Deputy Principals associated with transitioning from their role as teachers to that of becoming school administrators in Trinidad. This group of professionals are considered relatively under-researched, as the literature available, both locally and internationally, is minimal. Through an exploration of their views, this phenomenological study aimed to understand how the Trinidadian Deputy Principals perceive the role of an administrator, those factors that facilitated their career progression and their experiences associated with becoming school administrators. To address this study’s overarching objectives and research questions, the Deputy Principals participated in two sets of interviews, semi-structured and unstructured. The data collected was analysed using the steps of thematic analysis as outlined by Braun and Clarke (2006, 2019). As a theoretical lens, Giddens’ Theory of Structuration offered valuable insights into how the Deputy Principals negotiated their role within their respective work-related contexts, exerted their agency and responded to possible structural constraints. The findings revealed a range of multifaceted experiences suggesting that transitioning is a significant and complex process, and that the Deputy Principal’s role is critical to the operations of schools. Various factors facilitated the Deputy Principal’s progression as an administrator and included the Deputy Principal’s personal desires and ambitions, suggesting that this group of professionals were agentic and, primarily, responsible for their career progression. Other factors illuminated the importance of influential individuals, such as principals, education stakeholders and family members. School culture and training opportunities afforded to the Deputy Principal prior to becoming a school administrator were reported as enabling their progression. Among the recommendations, are preparatory and induction training should be implemented for prospective Deputy Principals and comparative and, possibly, longitudinal research in various contexts be undertaken across a broader sample of schools in Trinidad as well as Tobago and across the wider Caribbean.



Wei Zhang; Wasyl Cajkler; Alison Fox

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Education

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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