1st Edition

School Leadership in India Styles, Behaviours, Functions and Practices

By N. Mythili Copyright 2025
    360 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This book explores how school leadership plays a significant role in addressing the issues of poor learning among students in India. It identifies and analyses the factors that impact school leadership processes and styles practiced by schools and school leaders. The book presents in-depth discussions on critical leadership styles that are influenced by the processes, practices, and behaviours of school leaders. It provides the theoretical as well as conceptual underpinnings to address school leadership in the Indian context by analysing the school leadership styles arising from the interaction between leadership behaviours and functions for the overall improvement of schools, student learning and self-development of leaders. While highlighting the issues and challenges faced by schools, the book explores the national initiatives undertaken to transform instructional and pedagogical leadership of principals and improve students learning.

    Drawing from the empirical data, the book characterises vignettes created from the data on various aspects of school leadership practices indicating the styles, behaviours and functions in every chapter. The nature of the analysis is also unique to the discourse on educational leadership as it culminates in tracing the path traversed by the school leaders.  The analysis is thematically organized into purpose-process-outcome that spreads across seven chapters.

    The book will be of interest to researchers of education, leadership education and development, and school education in university departments of education, management, and public administration that use interdisciplinary approaches. It will also be useful for school educators, academicians, school leaders, policymakers and teacher educators.

    Part I: School Leadership Perspectives and Practices. 1: School Leadership and Student Learning Part II: School Leadership Framework. 2: Interactive School Leadership Framework 3: Analytical approach for studying school leadership Part III: Setting a direction for schooling. 4: The Purpose of Schooling 5: Child Friendly School Part IV: Leading a learning culture in the school. 6: Leadership for Learning 7: Socio-emotional spaces for learning culture 8: Creating Open spaces for sharing 9: Leading Teacher Professional Development Part V: Impact of School Leadership. 10: Knowing Student Learning 11: Self-confidence among School Leaders Part VI: School leadership in the Indian context. 12: The Character of School leadership in the Indian context


    N. Mythili is currently working as an Associate Professor at Mahindra University, Hyderabad. As a founding faculty for developing Indira-Mahindra School of Education, she started the Ph.D. programme in Education in 2021 and headed the school for a year.

    Currently, she is leading the research and discourse on School Leadership, and gender and school leadership in the Indian context through her research monographs and peer-reviewed articles published at international and national levels. Her recent works include ‘Women in School Leadership’; ‘Mastering the Art of Addressing the Ethical Dilemmas by Women Principals as a book chapter in the Bloomsbury International Handbook of Gender and Educational Leadership and; a book chapter in Regional Diversity and School Leadership in India with Springer Nature. Besides, she has worked on regulatory mechanisms of NCTE on Teacher Education in India. She reviews many national and international journals on educational leadership.


    Her research project (along with a group of principals working in CBSE schools) on ‘Pedagogical Leadership is being used to redefine the roles of principals as pedagogical leaders taking a shift from administrative roles in 30,000 schools affiliated to CBSE (India and Abroad), NVS and KVS schools. This theme on pedagogical leadership and its application to schools in the form of an Annual pedagogical Plan has been included in the School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAA) as a component, which all schools have to comply with as per the Gazette notification. Before, joining Mahindra University in 2021, she worked as Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, Delhi (NIEPA) from 2013 to 2021. She was deeply involved in research, large-scale implementation and professional development of school leaders known as the School Leadership Development Programme (SLDP) through the Ministry of Education, India.  She was the national coordinator for 8 states for developing school leadership in India and has worked with all states and UTs of India in different capacities covering nearly 30,000 school heads. She was a member of the National Resource Group of the NISHTHA programme launched by NCERT in 2019. She designed and implemented the one-year Post Graduate Diploma in School Leadership and Management at NIEPA from 2014 to 2016. She has written modules on school leadership for NCSL-NIEPA, NCERT and the Government of Telangana that are being used by all government schools. Before joining NIEPA, she worked at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Azim Premji Foundation, Bengaluru, and the Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research, Dharwad, Karnataka. She completed her PhD from the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, Karnataka in 2006.