oa Journal of Education - Using narrative inquiry to explore school transformation: a principal s tale

Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



The paper is based on a research study in progress at the University of Fort Hare, School of Postgraduate Studies in Education. I use narrative inquiry to increase understanding of the meaning of school transformation and the processes and principles involved in turning schools round in a radical way. The study investigates a sample of best practice schools that participated in the Eastern Cape Department of Education�s (ECDOE) Imbewu School Transformation Programme. They are all in extremely deprived rural or township contexts. It uses the narratives of principals to understand their perceptions of what happened in their schools during and after the intervention. The paper focuses on one primary school principal, and reflections on the narrative draw out principles and processes that have led to transformation. Based on these reflections the paper concludes by linking them to existing theories from post colonial African philosophy, social theory and educational theory. The aim of the paper is to increase understanding of whole school transformation in a specific context. I recognise that research in other contexts may lead to different understandings.

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