n Journal of Educational Studies - Alternative leadership approaches for South African schools

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1680-7456



A common thread in contemporary research on school leadership is the ways and manner in which principals take important decisions. These decisions have become increasingly more complex in a system of school-based management. The concept of principals' leadership and his or her approach towards leadership becomes vital in the process. School reform initiatives that are continually taking place necessitate alternative ways of thinking with regard to our concept of educational leadership. Principals can simply no longer lead in the old and traditional ways. This article, based on a descriptive review of the literature, focuses on evolving school leadership within the changing school context. It portrays the South African school context as dynamic and characterised by interaction of external and internal factors, with the latter dominated by issues such as school based management and dysfunctional schools. Understanding this dynamic nature and the enormous challenges that emerge is a prerequisite for understanding the types of leadership approaches suitable and required for the changing environment. A framework for emerging school leadership to indicate leadership's response to the changing context is provided and includes elements of alternative and re-emerging leadership approaches.

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