South African Journal of Education - Volume 27, Issue 3, 2007
Volume 27, Issue 3, 2007
Source: South African Journal of Education 27 (2007)More Less
This special edition was initiated and partially funded by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). Following the HEQC review process of the MEd in Education Leadership and Management (course work) in 2005, it became evident that there is still some confusion and lack of agreement among academics and institutions on the exact nature of Education Leadership and Management as an academic discipline. Based on the request by the HEQC it was decided to invite contributions from scholars and researchers in the field of ELM and to publish some of the leading debates and discourse analyses related to this discipline, and its particular manifestations in South Africa, in a special issue of SAJE.
Author Peter RibbinsSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 351 –376 (2007)More Less
As with education as a whole, as a field of study and research, educational leadership and management has, notably in the UK but also elsewhere, experienced a period of critical an d self-critical examination . The accusations claim much of it is second rate, ideologically orientated, methodologically inadequate, small-scale, non-cumulative, poorly disseminated, and lacking impact on policy and practice. I explore these claims, accepting some and challenging others, and consider how they may be addressed. Given the Special Edition's focus on, among other things, a perceived lack of clarity as to how the field is to be described and its key concepts defined, much of the article seeks to tackle these and related issues by proposing an approach to understanding knowledge and its production that is rather more comprehensive and inclusive than has been usual in re cent times. In doing so I argue that the possibilities of a humanities perspective in general and of history in particular have been greatly underestimated within the field.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 377 –390 (2007)More Less
There is a paradox at the centre of a substantial a mount of writing on the topic of leadership in organizations, particularly school leadership. On the one hand, there is what may be called a common-sense consensus that leadership is vitally important as a cause for setting and achieving organizational goals. Yet, on the other hand, an impressive body of empirical research concludes that the effect size of leadership on certain key organizational outcomes, such as promoting student learning, is small. We begin by discussing the first of these claims. We then discuss the second and finally discuss proposals for a resolution which is framed within the perspective of leadership theorized as a form of critical learning. In our resolution we argue that the contingencies of leadership contexts are sufficiently different to compromise the goal of producing a single leadership model. Instead, we urge that the role of school leaders in promoting learning, or other organizational goals, needs to be discerned from the leader's own theory that guides their decisions and actions, at least where that theory is developed from epistemically successful problem-solving practices. Such a stance implies that the paradox is generated by false assumptions and that both large-scale empirical studies and generalized leadership models are inappropriate tools for discerning the contribution of leaders to school outcomes.
Author Tony BushSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 391 –406 (2007)More Less
There is great interest in educational leadership in the early part of the 21st century because of the widespread belief that the quality of leadership makes a significant difference to school and student outcomes. There is also increasing recognition that schools require effective leaders and managers if they are to provide the be st possible education for their learners. Schools need trained and committed teachers but they, in turn, need the leadership of highly effective principals and support from other senior and middle managers. While the need for effective leaders is widely acknowledged, there is much less certainty about which leadership behaviours are most likely to produce favourable outcomes. I examine the theoretical underpinnings for the field of educational leadership and management, assess different leadership models, and discuss the evidence of their relative effectiveness in developing successful schools.
Author Sarie BerkhoutSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 407 –419 (2007)More Less
The restructuring of South African education poses continuous challenges for educational leaders to contribute towards constituting a just and equitable society. Competing discourses, however, create ongoing tensions that have to be negotiated and meaningfully mediated. The widely diverse, often conflicting, local discourses shaped by particular groups' histories and experiences, interacting with national / provincial imperatives and the powerful neo-liberalist discourse, puts exceptional demands on educational leadership. These discourses shape not only the enactment of education leadership and management in school settings, but also its conceptualisation as a discipline and the concomitant enactment in schools and other education settings. In the context of the debate of what constitutes education leadership and / or management, I focus on the conceptualisation of the organisational or structural context of leadership. Leadership is explored as engaging within and with schools as a construct of language, i.e. as a discursive construction where meanings are emergent, deferred, and dispersed. This has the ontological implication that schools as organisations do not have autonomous, stable, or structured status outside that of the interactive narratives and texts that constitute it. Also transformative educational leadership as a practice of power would in the interests of social justice - have to engage with competing discourses and what they privilege.
Author Lesley Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 421 –429 (2007)More Less
Over the past thirty years we have witnessed a proliferation of educational methods / methodologies aimed at helping us to make sense of the world - to provide clarity about the meaning of social reality. However, although these methods / methodologies are useful frameworks, they do not capture fully the untidy realities of the real world. The discipline of Educational Leadership and Management is embedded in a broader social world and therefore resonates with in fields of complexity, fluidity, heterogeneity, multiplicity, unpredictability, messiness, and so on. I suggest that conventional methods do not adequately capture social / educational reality fully, and argue that research should be less concerned about seeking clarity, but should rather - in Law's terms - be concerned with seeking a ''[d ]isciplined lack of clarity''. Put simply, methods cannot give coherence to a world that is itself incoherent. The argument presented has applicability to social science research generally, but also to the field of Educational Leadership and Management more specifically.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 431 –445 (2007)More Less
At the present juncture, South Africa is one of the few countries that do not require a compulsory and specific qualification for principalship. This particular need has been part of a discussion among educational leaders for the past thirty to forty years. Despite a ll the laudable efforts to redesign the landscape of Educational Leadership and Management (ELM) in South Africa, a major historical shortcoming has still been neglected, namely, lack of training of school principals to a national professional standard. After the first democratic elections in 1994, a report by the committee, which had reviewed the organization, governance, and fun ding of schools, referred for the first time in 1995 to the development of an Education Management Training Institute (EMTI). The Department of Education assigned a task team to develop a capacity-building programme for Education Leadership and Management (ELM) to implement the directives from policy documents. A series of drafts of a Policy Framework for ELM was published during 2003/4 as a framework and guide for the development of ELM to ensure excellence throughout the education system. A particular aspect which was emphasised in this Policy Framework was the professionalisation of ELM. The Department of Education responded by introducing a National Qualification for School Leadership in the form of an Advanced Certificate in Education. This was the first concrete step towards implementing a compulsory professional qualification for principalship without which no educator would be eligible for appointment to the post of fir st-time principal. Although the development of the envisaged programme presents vital challenges for the long and short term, principalship in South Africa is on its way to becoming a fully fledged profession with a unique career path.
Successful principals : why some principals succeed and others struggle when faced with innovation and transformationAuthor Martin PrewSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 447 –462 (2007)More Less
I explore the role and skills a principal needs to succeed in a transforming South African township school environment. I looked in detail at four principals and schools exposed to innovation. Two were successful in transforming their schools and two were not. The successful principals were able to seize innovations and make them work for the school. They were selective in the innovative practices they accepted but, compared with principals of less successful schools who opposed many of the innovations, they were able to explain why they opposed the ones they rejected or modified. The successful principals were particularly effective at working with the surrounding community on its own terms and with the local education district office, and in making these interfaces productive, allowing the school to play a key role in improving the community and supporting changes in the district office.
Author Kholeka MoloiSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 463 –476 (2007)More Less
I examine three main issues, which are directly linked to school management developments in South Africa since 1994: school leadership and management; professionalisation of principalship through the South African Standard for School Leadership (SASSL); and leading and managing the learning school. In exploring these issues I draw mainly on a systematic and comprehensive literature review of school leadership, management, and governance, commissioned by the Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance (MGSLG). The aim of the desk research was to establish 'what is known' and 'what still needs to be known' about educational leadership, management, and governance in South Africa. I also draw upon the work of the Education Management Task Team (EMTT), commissioned by the Directorate of Education Management and Governance Development in the National Department of Education. Their work drew upon the South African Schools Act (SASA) and, specifically, the recommendations of the Ministerial Task Team on Educational Management. The EMTT brief was to develop a policy framework for school leadership and management development, training and implementation, and to devise a South African Standard for School Leadership which would inform professional educational leadership programmes, leading to a National Professional Qualification for Principalship (SANPQP). The SASSL would provide a clear role description for principals, set out what is required of principals, and identify key areas of principalship.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 477 –490 (2007)More Less
We explore the rationale for school managers in South Africa to enrol for a new practice-based qualification and determine the perceptions of principals on how the Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) course influences their leadership style. The task of being a principal is demanding, requiring energy, drive, and many personal qualities and attributes. Principals, involved in the day-to-day management of their schools, need to take time to reflect on their personal growth as leaders and managers. The expectations of principals have moved from demands of management and control to the demands for an educational leader who can foster staff development, parent involvement, community support, and learner growth, and succeed with major changes and expectations. Developing principals and providing them with the necessary knowledge, skills, values and attitudes becomes increasingly important as the dynamic and changing educational culture becomes increasingly difficult. Using a qualitative paradigm, we investigated the perceptions of principals on how the ACE course influenced their leadership style. The ACE course was conceived as a form of continuing professional development which has the purpose of equipping principals for the positions they occupy, or enabling teachers to move into an education leadership and management career path.
Author Jan HeystekSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 491 –505 (2007)More Less
I contend that South African school leaders perform their functions within a managerialistic school system that focuses strongly on prescribed standards, quality, and outcomes. The aim is to draw attention to the conceptual contradiction inherent in the labelling of the school principal as a leader rather than as a manager. In practice, school principals are expected to perform within a framework of control systems and performitivity, which are the core features of managerialism. The argument will be that the functions performed by school principals are essentially managerial rather than being true leadership functions, in spite of the practice of labelling principals as leaders. In consequence, the expected managerialistic performance of principals inevitably has specific implications for the training of educational leaders. The training is therefore characterised as leadership moulding rather than leadership training.
Author Pontso MoorosiSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 507 –521 (2007)More Less
In trying to understand some of the gendered discourses that shape the management of schools as organisations in South Africa, I analyse woman principals' experiences as they try to navigate a balance between their home and work responsibilities. After their appointment as principals, some South African women face difficulties in striking the balance between work and family. Available literature suggests that balancing private and public life for working women with families can be taxing, especially for married women. Reasons for this include the cultural expectation, which suggests that women, regardless of whether they are in employment or not, or whether they employ a domestic helper or not, should still perform family chores in the home. The traditional stereotypes also associate school principalship with masculinity, a view that hampers women's career progression in education management. I identify some of the gendered social practices that disadvantage women and suggest that these need to be challenged in order to achieve gender equity in education management. I further suggest an urgent need for research informed by feminist theories and examine gender inequity issues in schools in South Africa within the current political, social, and cultural frameworks.
Author Isaac MathibeSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 523 –540 (2007)More Less
Many schooling systems do not fulfil their mandates because of poor management and leadership. Similarly, the rigidity that one finds in schools does not only stunt schools' capacity to develop, but also leads to schools that are dysfunctional and unproductive. As a result, in countries where there is universal transformation, efficacious management and leadership are elevated to the highest rostrum. In this paper I aim at investigating the necessity for professional development of school principals.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 541 –563 (2007)More Less
We focus on the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) in conceptualizing collegial leadership in education. Research findings, both nationally and internationally, strongly suggest that a technocratic (managerial) approach to leadership is in conflict with the visionary, people-centred approach of modern organisations, including educational institutions at school level. Research on leadership over the past two decades indicates that the emotional intelligence of leaders matters twice as much as cognitive abilities such as IQ or technical expertise. EI is not in opposition to IQ but it is an extension of the human's potential to succeed in a people-orientated environment. Traditional cognitive intelligence (IQ) is combined with non-cognitive intelligence (EI) to help leaders perform at their best and inspire their followers to be successful and happy. Although the principal's leadership is an essential element in the success of a school, current research indicates that the complexities of schools require a new focus on collaborative (collegial) leadership. This research on EI, collegial leadership, and job satisfaction is illustrated in the Triumvirate Leadership Grid. It strongly suggests that a personal and emotional accountability system is essential for positive human development within the learning environment.