Professional Development, Professionalism, Pre-service training, In-service training, mentoring, coaching, principalship.


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the literature on the professional development of educational administrators in the world, based on empirical and theoretical evidence with special reference to educational administrators and school principals in several countries.

Design/Methodology: An interpretative analysis on literature covering professional development, pre-service training, in-service training programmes, mentoring, models of education leaders, coaching and the history of education in Sri Lanka and also the background information of the Education Administrative Service in Sri Lanka is carried out.

Findings:  Training and professional development date back to several centuries and it was found that the influence of imperialists, mainly the British was dominant in the Sri Lankan modern education system and professional development programmes. Sri Lanka continues to implement training and development with the least changes in contents and scopes compared to the past.  It was further found that authorities paid little attention to the effectiveness of the training and development but rather were concerned about the compliance requirements. At present, education leaders undergo training programmes, and improvements in leaders are also seen at varying degrees. The study finds that educational leaders who are good at leadership skills and competencies produce better results in terms of both students’ performances and school management.

However, though the use of technology in training was trivial, the need for more sophisticated, comprehensive, and sustainable training for educational leaders for better performance is highlighted.

Practical implications: Provision of training and development is perceived by authorities as a practice and not as a key driver of improving school performance and effective management. The outcome of the study can be used to further enhance and implement professional development and training programmes for educational leaders with an outcome-oriented approach. Therefore, the findings will help lay a foundation for policymaking and their implementation can be broadened to enhance the quality of education in Sri Lanka.

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