n South African Journal of Education - Continuing professional development for principals : a South African perspective

Volume 27, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



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.

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