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Absent leadership in curriculum implementation

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dc.contributor.author Edwards, Graeme Bentley
dc.date.accessioned 2008-05-09T12:27:57Z
dc.date.available 2008-05-09T12:27:57Z
dc.date.issued 2008-05-09T12:27:57Z
dc.date.submitted 2006
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/352
dc.description.abstract Schools are essentially concerned with people and the development of knowledge and skills. Schools require leadership in order to achieve their goals. Furthermore, schools are tasked with being relevant in their contemporary societal contexts as well as for society in the future. Regarding the type of leadership in schools, Sergiovanni contends that schools need special leadership because they are special places, because they are lifeworld intensive and because “school professionals don’t react warmly to the kind of hierarchically based command leadership or hero leadership that characterizes other kinds of institutions” (2000:165 - 166). Against the backdrop of this commonly held belief, this research project undertook to investigate a school where the new curriculum had been successfully implemented in a context where there was absent leadership. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon, the school type and context, the human interventions and the school culture were considered. The qualitative approach was selected for this research with a grounded case study as the relevant research design. Epistemologically, this research is located in the constructionist paradigm and an interpretivist theoretical perspective will be employed in the research project. Interpretivist philosophies promote the notion that human action can be distinguished from physical objects by virtue of the fact that they are inherently meaningful. The data were collected by means of some semi structured interviews and a dyad interview. Both convergent and divergent questions were posed to the participants in the data collection strategies. The process of data analysis was approached from a grounded theory perspective. This approach requires that a theory should emerge from the data rather than the data proving or disproving an existing theory. Six themes were identified through the process of data analysis. These themes were then processed into five findings which collectively developed and compiled a substantive theory. The findings of this study revealed that schools require leadership. Leadership should be considered in its broadest sense with all educators possessing the potential to lead. In addition, the appropriate use of power and authority were identified as essential ingredients for successful leadership. School culture was also found to be an essential component of successful schools. Not only is school culture essential for the successful daily functioning of schools, but an appropriate school culture is imperative for dealing with change and the successful implementation of new policies, curriculum and school reform initiatives. A collaborative school culture was identified as the type of school culture that is appropriate and that would support and facilitate the management of change. In light of the findings, implications for policy and practice are presented and suggestions for future research are made. Lastly, the limitations of the study are noted and the conclusions of the study discussed. It is hoped that this study will assist policy makers and school principals to seriously consider their leadership style in terms of sharing power and authority and in the creation of school culture that are empowering and positive, one that considers individual potential as well as group cohesiveness. en
dc.description.sponsorship Prof. B. Smit en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Educational leadership en
dc.subject Educational change en
dc.subject Curriculum change en
dc.subject School improvement programs en
dc.title Absent leadership in curriculum implementation en
dc.type Thesis en

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