n Journal of Educational Studies - Coping with change and adapting to change : are principals' leadership styles changing in response to policy demands?

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1680-7456



The aims of study were to find out whether or not principals in 8 KwaZulu-Natal's rural schools, were coping with new policies within the context of change and transformation. This was a qualitative study which was underpinned by interpretivist paradigm. Semi-structured interviews were used as a method of generating data from the principals, heads of departments, teachers and parents. The findings suggest that, in principals' interactions with various education policies, they made choices about which policies to observe. In compliance with policy expectations, their leadership approaches were participative but in certain instances, this was not genuine, whilst in others it was. Three approaches emerged and are discussed. They are "Open-Participatory", "Closed-Participatory" and "Authoritative-Participatory". It is proposed that principals need to consider using leadership approaches that encourage their staff members to actively participate in the activities of their schools. One of the ways to promote that is to be open to inputs from the teachers.

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