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Doctoral Degrees (Education, Development, Leadership and Management)

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    “Navigating unchartered waters”: lived experiences of novice principals leading in deprived school contexts.
    (2023) Ndlovu, Nokukhanya.; Myende, Phumlani Erasmus.
    Moving into a leadership position can be daunting. In modern-day schools, the leadership role comes with multiple responsibilities and is attached to high levels of accountability. Arguably so, today’s principals are called CEOs as they have to lead and manage complex organisations and perform managerial, instructional, and political roles. Such an undertaking is challenging, especially for novice principals who assume this position with limited leadership experience and lack formal leadership training. Additionally, schools are located in different contexts, and the context influences leadership. Some schools are located in contexts that are conducive for those who are principals to lead and navigate leadership challenges successfully. Others are situated in contexts that are deprived. Deprived contexts are post-Apartheid geographies where numerous factors conspire to diminish the quality of life, making leading and working in these contexts more challenging compared to other contexts. Most schools in South Africa are located in deprived contexts. This means several novice principals get appointed to lead in such contexts amidst the limited training and sometimes experience in principalship. This study explored novice principals’ lived experiences of leading schools in deprived contexts through a theoretical lens that integrates sense-making, adaptive leadership, and context-responsive theories. It intended to understand the identities of novice principals (who are the principals leading schools located in the context of deprivation), how they enacted leadership, and why they lead in the ways they do. Four novice principals leading schools in deprived contexts from the province of KwaZulu-Natal were selected. Guided by the narrative methodology, which relies on storytelling and narrating to understand the complexity of human experience, life history interviews were used to generate data. From the dual analysis, namely narrative analysis and analysis of narratives, the study found that interestingly, the leadership practices of the novice principals in this study are not that different from those of other seasoned and successful principals. The practices that emerged were working collaboratively through building relationships, strengthening the instructional core, leading by example, wearing many hats by using and drawing on their multiple personal and professional identities, being active policy enactors and leading with the context in mind through a leadership of care. This suggests that novice principals do not assume their role as blank slates, whether formally trained or not. Childhood, educational, and professional experiences emerged as powerful socialising agents that cultivated leadership identities even before novice principals were appointed and were highly significant in shaping the leadership of principals. Additionally, the novice principals led in the ways they do as a response to the contextual constraints posed by the context in which they lead, demonstrating contextual awareness. This study further found that this contextual awareness arose from being socialised in a similar environment to that in which these novice principals lead. While current scholarship asserts that principals shape and are shaped by the contexts they lead, this study extends knowledge by illustrating that the novice principals have contextual literacy, which cultivates contextual awareness, guiding leadership practices. From this, we learn that novice principals are not deterred by the challenges of being new; instead, they proactively seek creative ways to empower themselves and navigate the complexities of both their new role and the deprived context. Moreover, we discover that the context of being a novice principal in a deprived setting holds distinct meanings for those who are insiders (the novice principals leading in the deprived context) compared to outsiders (such as the researcher exploring the phenomenon). The novice principals perceive themselves as transformative agents, strategically positioned to challenge systemic constraints and find innovative solutions to navigate, transform, and thrive in this challenging and prejudiced context. Their experiences and these findings challenge conventional assumptions about novice principals and provide valuable insights into their resilience and capacity to lead effectively in demanding circumstances. Iqoqa Ukuthatha isikhundla sobuholi emkhakheni wezemfundo kuletha izinselelo eziningi, ikakhulu kothishabakhulu abasengamavukana abangase bentule ukuqeqeshwa kwezobuholi namava. Ezikoleni zamanje, iqhaza likathishomkhulu selikhule ledlula imisebenzi yokulawula lafaka namagunya okulawula nawezombusazwe. Kuqakulwa ukuthi kufanele othishabakhulu babizwe ngama-CEO ngoba kufanele bahole baphathe izinhlangano eziyinkimbinkimbi. Lobu bunkimbinkimbi bungaphinda buqhutshelwe phambili yisimo salapho isikole esakhiwe khona. Ezinye izimo, njengezinobuhlwempu eSouth Africa yasemva kobandlululo, zinemithelela eminingi enomthelela wokwehlisa izingabunjalo lempilo, yenze ukuhola nokusebenza kulezi zimo kube lukhuni kakhulu uma kuqhathaniswa nezinye izimo. Iningi lezikole zaseSouth Africa zakhiwe ezimeni ezinobuhlwempu. Ukwanda kwalezi zimo nokuqokwa kothishabakhulu abangamavukana ukuthi bahole kulezi zindawo kugqamisa isidingo sokuqonda ngokujulile amava nokwenza kwabo ekuholeni. Ucwaningo luhlose ukuhlola ngosekwedlulwe kukho ngothisha abangamavukana okuholela ezimeni zobuhlwempu ngokweso lenjulalwazi edidiyela okwenza umqondo, ubuholi obuhambisanayo, nezinjulalwazi zokuhambisana nesimo. Ucwaningo lwaluhlose ukuqonda ubunjalo bothishabakhulu abangamavukana, ukuthi benza kanjani kwezobuholi, nemithelela eyakha indlela yabo yokuhola, ikakhulu umthelela wezimo zombili zobuhlwempu nesimo sobuvukana ebuholini babo. Ngokuholwa yindlela yengxoxo, ephakamisa ukuxoxwa kwezindaba ukuzuza injula yobunkimbinkimbi bamava esintu, kwaqokwa othishabakhulu abane basezikoleni zesifundazwe iKwaZulu-Natal, abaphonswa imibuzo kusetshenziswa indlelakwenza yomlando wempilo ukwakha imininingo. Imininingo yabe isihlaziywa ngokusebenzisa indlela ekabili yohlaziyongxoxo, nokuhlaziywa kwezingxoxo, okwaba nomthelela wokwakhiwa kwezindaba nezindikimba. Ucwaningo lwathola ukuthi othishabakhulu abangamavukana banobunjalo obuningi obunomthelela ebuholini babo. Lokhu kwenza akwehlukile kakhulu kulokho kothishabakhulu abanamava futhi abaphumelelayo, okukhomba ukuthi othishabakhulu abangamavukana baletha amava nemibono kwaphambilini emsebenzini yabo kunokuyiqala elwazini oluncikinciki. Amava asukela ebunganeni, kwezemfundo, nawobungcweti kwatholakala kubamba iqhaza eliqavile ekwakheni amakhono obuholi ngisho naphambi kokuqokwa kothishabakhulu abangamavukana. Nokho-ke, lolu cwaningo lunikeza injula ngokugqamisa umqondo wokufunda ngokwesimo nokuqonda nobumqoka bokwejwayezwa umsebenzi esimeni esifanayo. Kulolu cwaningo othishabakhulu abangamavukana bakhombisa izinga lokusiqonda isimo, okuyikho okwalekelela kwaphinda kwakha ubuholi babo. Bazibona beyizimbangela zenguquko, ezikwazi ukubhekana nezinselelo ezinokuhleleka zezimo zabo nokuthola izindlela ezintsha zokuguduza nokusimama kuzo.
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    Space, geography and gendered experiences of children: a narrative study of four high schools in Hhohho region, Eswatini.
    (2022) Makamure, Gibson.; Morojele, Pholoho.; Sookrajh, Reshma.
    The main objective of this study was to explore the space, geography and gendered experiences of children in four coeducational high schools in the Hhohho region of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). Guided by Social Constructionism theory, the study drew narratives of space, geography and gendered experiences of children and what could be learnt from their accounts, in order to understand and improve their educational experiences. The research draws from Massey’s (2005, 1994) theorisation of space in helping to understand the experiences children have with space and the entanglement of space, geography and gender in the school environment. In order to explore the specific school spaces that children occupy as well as how they navigate through and negotiate these spaces, the thesis used a qualitative approach and a narrative enquiry as its research design. Semi-structured individual interviews and focus group discussions were used as data generation methods. The participants were aged between 16-18 age groups and were in Form Five. A non- probability sampling technique was used, in which convenience and purposeful sampling strategies were used. The research found out that boys and girls in school spaces experienced different gendered experiences. Evidence from the research showed that school spaces, which are highly gendered, acted as a constraint to opportunities of learning especially to girls. Boys are dominant in school spaces as found out by the research. Teachers who are patriarchal and gender stereotyped support the domineering positions of boys over girls. Volunteering activities performed by community members and parents follow traditional gender roles which send the messages of a patriarchal society. Girls, for example, suffered more from sexual based violence both from teachers and from boys. They were most vulnerable to issues such as unwanted touching, body shaming and forced kissing from boys. Teachers, on the other hand, proposed love to them and were not in a position to report these cases because of fear of victimisation. Physical spaces, which included, among others, the bathrooms/toilets and libraries, needed improvement in order to promote equitable learning between boys and girls as was revealed by the study. Dirty and malfunctioning bathrooms discouraged girls from attending school, especially during their menstrual periods. Some of the bathrooms/toilets lacked privacy, which is a requirement for toilet use and also a personal space. It was further revealed that, both boys and girls in the school lacked agency. Adults, in this case, teachers and administrator dominated schools spaces. Teachers and administrators influenced most decisions that touched on their academic lives. Learners felt this as an unfair way of doing things since they wanted to take responsibility, especially on things that affected their future, like the selection of subjects. A platform for learner empowerment has been made available by the availability of guidance and counselling in schools. This has resulted in some of the learners especially the girls to stand up against any form gender inequalities that they faced within the school spaces. Some girls are now able to challenge bullying and sexually based violence in spaces that are male-dominated. Some boys are now able to respect girls as part of the empowerment processes gained through guidance and counselling. The study recommends that the Ministry of Education and Training makes sure that gender responsive spaces are provided in schools to make positive the learners’ gendered experiences. This may include, among others, the construction of well -designed bathrooms to cater for the different needs of learners, ensuring that they have their voices heard in schools and their complaints addressed. Also, the Ministry of Education and Training should make a gender module in all teacher training colleges compulsory, to ensure that teachers are well equipped with knowledge and skills to deal with gender issues in schools.
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    Creating learning spaces for the 21st century learning in rural secondary schools: a leadership perspective.
    (2022) Zondo, Dumisani Brian.; Mkhize, Bongani Nhlanhla Cyril Kenneth.; Bayeni, Sibusiso Douglas.
    This study focuses on the practices of school leadership in two rural secondary schools as they create learning spaces that support the 21st century learning. The study adopted a qualitative multiple-sites case study design that was underpinned by interpretivist paradigm. Data was generated from 13 participants who were purposively selected, through the use of semi-structured interviews and documents reviews. Transformational Leadership Theory by Bass and Riggio and Instructional Leadership Model by Hallinger and Murphy were adopted as a theoretical framework for this study. The data that was generated through the two techniques (interviews and documents reviews) was analysed through the complementary use of content analysis and inductive analyses. The findings showed that school leadership embracing collaborative school climate that enabled the intrinsically motivated and technology savvy teachers to reconfigure the traditional classroom conceptualisation into learning spaces for the 21st century learning. Such teachers infused the technological theories in teaching and learning and adopted a learner-centric pedagogy that prioritises the 21st century skills. The study contributes in different ways, including the destabilisation of the notion that transformational leadership is only exercised by people in formal position of leadership. The power of bottom-up influence came to the fore in this thesis.
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    Educators’ leadership and management experiences in supporting learners’ transition from the foundation phase to the intermediate phase in primary schools in the uMlazi district: a multiple case study.
    (2022) Shabalala, Sandile Caiphas.; Mkhize, Bongani Nhlanhla Cyril Kenneth.; Bhengu, Thamsanqa Thulani.
    Primary school educators play a pivotal role in building a solid foundation for learners to be able to succeed academically throughout their entire school journey. However, some educators in the primary schools, traverse through a rough patch when learners have to transition from one phase to another phase. Little is known about how these educators deal with teaching and learning during this critical stage of transition. But more importantly, little is known about how educators support these learners to adapt to and cope with phase transition. This study explored educators’ leadership and management experiences in supporting learners’ transition from Foundation to Intermediate Phase in primary schools in the uMlazi District. The participating primary schools were located in rural, semi-rural and in the township. In this research, I adopted a qualitative multiple case study within interpretivist paradigm. Twelve Fourth Grade educators from three primary schools from the uMlazi District were purposefully selected for this study. The study is underpinned by Adaptive Leadership Theory by Heifetz, Grashow and Linsky (2009), and Hallinger’ (2011) synthesised model of leadership. Semi-structures were used to generate qualitative data. Thematic data analysis was used to analyse the data. What emerges from the data was that learners in the fourth grade are encountered numerous challenges which complicated their journey as they progress from Grade Three to Grade Four. The findings also show that educators involved did their best to counteract the negative effects of the hostile environment to support these Grade Four learners cope with new teaching and learning environment.
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    Information and communication technology integration in an international high school: the influence of leadership.
    (2023) Fato, Shepherd.; Myende, Phumla.; Chirikure, Tamirirofa.
    Information and communication technology (ICT) integration in teaching and learning has become an imperative worldwide. However, this remains problematic due to various factors in different contexts. Often, the extent and success of ICT integration depends on the school leadership hence this study explored ICT integration in an international high school with a focus on the influence of leadership. A qualitative case study was done with 13 participants from one international high school. Data were generated through interviews and document analysis to understand how ICT integration was enacted, the leadership influence and why the school enacted ICT integration in the way it did. The qualitative data were analysed through open coding followed by axial coding to identify salient themes. The theories of technology organisation environment and transformational leadership were used as a lens to make sense of the findings. The results show that the school’s ICT vision and policy informed resource provision and integration in various sectors of the school life. ICT integration was a driver for active learning, information management and school communication. There was decentralisation of responsibilities, strategic ICT resourcing, and regular professional development activities to upskill staff. ICT integration was enacted in response to different stakeholder expectations and to sustain effectiveness and efficiency in school operations. Based on the findings of this study, a needs-based approach to ICT integration leadership is proposed. The needs stem from the curriculum, people, school functionality, and the educational context. Empirical research to test this approach is necessary to develop a better understanding of ICT integration leadership.
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    Academics’ experiences of university leadership in constructing their professional identities: a case of a university in Cameroon.
    (2022) Folabit, Novel Lena.; Reddy, Saras.
    Teaching, research, and community engagement are the three main pillars of higher education institutions, and academics construct their professional identities by translating these pillars into teaching programmes across departments, research projects, and the provision of skilled labour to the general public. However, academics' roles and responsibilities are shifting, reforming, and being reviewed, making it difficult for them to interpret these roles and responsibilities accurately, calling into question their conceptions of their own professional identities in relation to their experiences of the influence of university leadership practices on the construction of those identities. Furthermore, professional identity research indicates that there is little literature on the conceptualization of academic professional identity, and the available literature only theorises concepts related to professional identity in general rather than academic identity in higher education. This study recognises the manner in which leadership practices negatively influence academics' roles and responsibilities in higher education in the context of a Cameroon university. To understand academics' conceptions of their professional identity and to address the question of why their experiences of university leadership influences the construction of their professional identity in the way that they do, this thesis focused on a Cameroonian university as a case study. Eleven permanent academics from the research site were purposively selected. A case study design within a pragmatic paradigm, where both qualitative and quantitative methods of data generation were used to explore the three research questions that underpinned this study. Distributed leadership theory and the force field model for teacher development were used to frame and generate data through semi-structured individual interviews and focus group discussions. A survey questionnaire was used to generate quantitative data with 170 academics through simple random sampling to find out how academics’ experiences of university leadership influence the construction of their professional identity. The findings show that academics’ conceptions of their professional identity are ingrained at three levels. At the micro-level, academics conceive of their professional identities based on individual forces, which establishes three distinct approaches to conceptualising academic professional identities in higher education. The study established that academics’ professional identities are conceptualised as self-conceptions of their professional identities embedded in the relationality of self, discipline, and context. Secondly, professional identity refers to academics' personal beliefs about their profession. This is demonstrated by the distinction between individuals' personal beliefs about their field of specialisation within their professional context and others' beliefs within the same professional context. The third perspective is that professional identity is defined by the roles and responsibilities of belonging to an academic profession, which are characterised by their capacity to ensure visibility, effective teaching skills, teaching and research ethics, and the deontology of the academic profession. At the meso-level, academics conceive professional identities based on institutional forces, which establishes that university leadership's incompetency, discrimination, egocentrism, and political leanings, among other things, negatively influence the construction of their professional identities as they undertake teaching, research, and research-led community engagement as their key performance indicators. At the macro-level, academics conceive of their professional identities based on external forces, which establishes that government interference in the pedagogical activities of the study context negatively influences academics' professional identities through its appointment policy for the university leaders and external political control. The study concludes with several recommendations and the contention that a blended bottom-up-top-down leadership approach is necessary to address issues related to corruption, discrimination, inconsistent and ineffective leadership, appointment policy, funding, external interference, and a mismatch between theory and practice in university policy implementation. This will significantly contribute to the development of a sustainable higher education system in Cameroon.
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    The dynamics of school performance: evidence from three primary schools=Inhlukano ekwenzeni kwesikole: Ubufakazi obutholakala ezikoleni ezintathu zamabanga aphansi.
    (2021) Mtshali, Enock Bhekokwakhe.; Chikoko, Vitallis.
    The South African education system has instituted policies and programmes to expect schools to function better, but this does not seem to be the case when measured by school performance. School performance in South Africa is a multi-faceted phenomenon that needs to be studied and understood in-depth, hence this study on the dynamics of school performance. This is a qualitative research study positioned in the interpretivist paradigm to understand multiple realities about the dynamics of school performance as expounded by Rehman and Alharthi’s (2016) that interpretivists believe in multiple socially constructed realities. The study adopted a multiple case study approach involving three primary schools in one district of the KwaZulu- Natal province. The following questions were posed: what factors influence school performance? How do teachers and school management team members see these factors influencing school performance? How can school performance be enhanced? Research participants included the school principals, departmental heads, and teachers in each school. The data generation instruments included interviews, observations, and document reviews. Central to school performance, the major conclusions reached show that school culture was the overarching dynamic of school performance. Within school culture, the key sub-dynamics were the nature of leadership and management, the quality of teaching and learning, and school community relationships. Schools need not only rely on the policies and programmes from the Department of Education (DoE) to improve their performance. Heavy reliance on the directives by the DoE seems not to make schools accountable for their academic performance. In addition to the policies and programmes for improving school performance, schools need to develop internal school performance strategies. Iqoqa Uhlelo lwezemfundo eNingizimu Afrikha lusungule izinqubomgomo kanye nezinhlelo ezilindele ukuba izikole zisebenze kahle, kodwa lokhu akubukeki kunjalo uma kukalwa ngokwenza kwesikole. Ukwenza kwesikole eNingizimu Afrikha ukuba isenzekoningi esidinga ukucutshungulwa bese siqondwa ngendlela ejulile, njengoba lolucwaningo lubheka ukuhlukahlukana ngokwenza kwesikole. Lesi sifundo sikhethe uhlonzoningi lohlelokwenza olufaka izikole ezintathu ezisemabangeni aphansi kusifunda esisodwa esifundazweni sakwaZulu-Natali. Imibuzo elandelayo yaphonswa: ngabe iziphi izimbangela ezaba nethonya mayelana nokwenza kwesikole? Ngabe bazibuka kanjani othisha kanye namalungu omkhandlu wokuphatha kwesikole izimbangela ezithonya ukwenza kwesikole? Kungakhuthazwa kanjani ukwenza kwesikole? Ababamba iqhaza ocwaningweni kufaka uthishomkhulu, izinhloko zeminyango, kanye nothisha isikole ngasinye. Amathuluzi okusenga ulwazi afaka uhlelongxoxo, ukupha iso kanye nokubuyekeza imibhalo. Imiphumela ikhomba ukuthi isiko lesikole yilona elaba wungqoshishilizi enhlukwaneni yokwenza kwesikole. Ezibilini zesiko lesikole, okuwukhiye ngaphansana kwenhlukano kwabe kuyisimo sobuholi kanye nokuphatha, izinga lokufundisa nokufunda, kanye nobudlelwano nomphakathi ongumakhelwane nesikole. Izikole azikudingi ukuthembela kuzinqubomgomo kanye nasezinhlelweni zoMnyango wezeMfundo ukuthuthukisa ukwenza kwazo. Ukuthembela kakhulu emiyalelweni yoMnyango wezeMfundo akuzenzi izikole zikwazi ukuphumela obala ngokwenza kwazo. Uma kunezezelwa ezinqubwenimgomo nezinhlelo zokuthuthukisa ukwenza kwesikole, isikole sidinga ukukhulisa ngaphakathi amaqhinga okwenza kwesikole.
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    Successful leadership practices of School Management Team members: a multiple case study of selected rural secondary schools=Imisebenzi yobuholi obunempumelelo yamalungu eThimba Elilawula iSikole: Ucwaningonto oluphindekile lwezikole zasemakhaya ezikhethiwe zamabanga aphezulu .
    (2022) Gogo, Desmond Monde.; Bhengu, Thamsanqa Thulani.; Mkhize, Bongani Nhlanhla Cyril Kenneth.
    The study sought to examine successful leadership practices and how these practices are locally enacted by SMT members in rural secondary schools in the O. R. Tambo Coastal District in the Eastern Cape. Moreover, the study seeks to understand how these successful leadership practices are ‘practicalised’ in different contexts and how negative environmental challenges that hinder success are mitigated thereof. Furthermore, this study seeks to understand the complexities and intricacies surrounding leadership practices in trying school contexts. The study was qualitative and interpretive in nature and employed semi-structured interviews to generate data. The study was focused on four research sites which were purposively sampled from rural secondary schools. Interpretive data analysis was used in this study which emphasised the need for the researcher to stay close to the data so as to interpret it from a position of thorough understanding of the School Management Team members’ leadership practices. This study is framed on Instructional Leadership Theory Model by Hallinger (2011) and Adaptive Leadership Theory. The study found out that leadership practices in rural secondary schools laid emphasis on school-community integration and maintained close relationship with the traditional leaders. Also, the study found that School Management Team members describe and explain successful leadership practices among other things as a way whereby the newly appointed Principals physically go to Traditional leaders as to introduce themselves as additional members to the communities where Traditional leaders are residing. Among other things, this study reveals the importance of the enhanced collaboration between the schools and various stakeholders and accountability. This study also found that, in enhancing collaboration between the school and various stakeholders, the schools among other things initiated a strategy of accounting to Traditional leaders quarterly for learner results in terms of learner academic performance. As a result, learner academic performance improved in the participating schools. Iqoqa Ucwaningo luhlose ukuhlola ukusebenza okunempumelelo kobuholi nokuthi lezi zindlelakusebenza ezisungulwe ezindaweni zasemakhaya amalungu e-SMT ezikoleni zamabanga aphezulu eSifundeni sase-OR Tambo Coastal District eMpumalanga Kapa. Ngaphezu kwalokho, ucwaningo lufuna ukuqonda ukuthi imisebenzi yobuholi obunempumelelo ‘okwenzekayo’ ezingqikithini ezehlukene nezinselelo zezendawo ezingezinhle ezinqinda impumelelo ziyabhekwa. Ngaphezu kwalokho, lolu cwaningo lufuna ukuqonda ubunkimbi nezinzulumininingo ezingena ebuholini obuzungezile ezingqikithini zesikole ezikhathazayo. Ucwaningo lunomumo wekhwalithethivu futhi lungoluchazayo lwaphinde lwasebenzisa izimposambuzo ezihlelwe-ngokungaphelele ezikoleni zamabanga aphezulu zasezindaweni zasemakhaya. Ukuhlaziya imininingo echazayo kwasetshenziswa kulolu cwaningo kwagcizelela isidingo sokuba umcwaningi asebenzise imininingo ukuze ihunyushwe ngasohlangothini lokuqonda ngokuphelele ngemisebenzi yobuholi yamalungu eThimba eliPhethe iSikole. Lolu cwaningo lusebenzise i-Instructional Leadership Theory Model ka-Hallinger (2011) kanye ne-Adaptive Leadership Theory. Ucwaningo luthole ukuthi okwenziwa ngokobuholi ezikoleni zamabanga aphezulu zasezindaweni zasemakhaya kwagcizelela ekudidiyeleni umumo wesikole somphakathi lwase luba nobudlelwane obunokusondelana nabaholi beNdabuko. Okunye, ucwaningo lwathola ukuthi amalungu eThimba eLilawula iSikole achaza izindlelakwenza zobuholi obunempumelelo phakathi kokunye njengendlela lapho oThishanhloko abasanda kuqashwa beya bona siqu kubaholi beNdabuko ukuze bazethule njengamalungu engeziwe emiphakathini lapho kuhlala khona abaholi beNdabuko. Kwezinye izinto, lolu cwaningo luveza ukubaluleka kokubambisana okuphucukile phakathi kwezikole nabanesabelo abehlukene nokuziphendulela. Lolu cwaningo lwaphinda lwathola ukuthi ukuphucula ukubambisana phakathi kwesikole nabanesabelo abehlukene, izikole phakathi kokunye zaqalisa umqondosu wokuziphendulela kubaholi beNdabuko ngemiphumela yabafundi ngokuhambisana nokusebenza komfundi ezifundweni. Ngenxa yalokho, kwaphucula ukusebenza kwabafundi ezifundweni ezikoleni ezibambe iqhaza.
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    Ethical leadership in South African schools: learning from the experiences and practices of selected proactive school principals.
    (2021) Meyiwa, Nompumelelo Priscilla.; Chikoko, Vitallis.
    South African schools need ethical leadership, given the nature and level of unethical conduct that is reported on in schools, with some school principals said to be the perpetrators. Despite the sound policies that apply to the education sector, the situation still seems to persist. This study aimed to understand selected school principals’ experiences and practices of ethical leadership in their daily lives. These school principals were reliably believed to be ethical leaders. The study involved exploring and understanding what informed their experiences and practices, how they managed dilemmas and why they behaved the way they did as well as determining what could be learnt from the participants’ experiences and practices. This study adopted a two-pronged theoretical lens, specifically Greenleaf’s (1977) servant leadership theory and Bill Grace’s (1999) 4Vs model of ethical leadership. The servant leadership theory places the emphasis on the leader serving followers before leading them. The leader does this with the aim of influencing followers to also adopt the spirit of serving others. In the 4Vs ethical leadership model, leaders develop a vision for the organization and use their voices to articulate the vision. This vision stems from their own understanding and conviction of their personal values. All of this is influenced by the will to achieve the common good, which is a virtue. The study was qualitative, situated within the interpretivist paradigm. It used the narrative inquiry research design. The participants were five school principals from township primary and secondary schools in a selected circuit of the KwaZulu-Natal province. The findings reveal that the school principals experienced ethical dilemmas that were influenced by, among others, the prevailing socio-economic conditions, political interference, especially from teacher unions, and lack of support from the Department of Basic Education and other stakeholders. Their key practices included shared decision-making, leading by example, accountability and responsibility, empathy and care. They cited having a vision and foresight, empowering followers, serving others, humility, accountability, listening to others and moral decision-making as what informed their practices. These practices were underpinned by values such as integrity, honesty, justice and fairness, empathy and care as well as respect for their practice.
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    Exploring the development of teacher leadership: learning from selected South African teachers and members of school management teams.
    (2021) Malik, Yasmeen.; Chikoko, Vitallis.
    The need for teacher leadership development has never been more urgent. The call for teacher leadership is explicitly embedded within South African educational policies, and amidst an ever-increasing educational crisis, the effective leadership of teachers is an absolute necessity. The call for effective teacher leadership has therefore never been greater. The scarcity of research on how teacher leadership develops warranted this study. Drawing from Reichard and Johnson’s (2011) leader self-development theory, Harrison and Killion’s (2007) ten roles of teacher leaders, and Greenleaf’s (2003) servant leadership theory, this study aimed to do the following: to explore how teacher leaders and school management team members understood teacher leadership work; to explore how teachers and school management team members understood and experienced teacher leadership development; and to determine what lessons could be learnt to inform thinking of how other ordinary teachers could develop into effective teacher leaders as a way forward for the implementation of teacher leadership development. The study employed a multiple case study methodology embedded within a qualitative, interpretivist approach. Multi-perspectival data was generated through semi-structured individual interviews with four effective teacher leaders and four school management team members from three secondary schools in the eThekwini region in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The interview data was supplemented with artefacts and reflective journal entries. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. The work of the teacher leader participants was categorised into seven focal areas: reflective practitioners and evolving methodologists, school-wide and community leaders, effective teacher development agents, mentors leading by example, life and personal coaches, change agents for school improvement, and mediating bridges between teachers and management. It was found that their leadership roles developed as solutions to challenges with their learners, colleagues, schools and communities and was motivated by the teacher leaders’ positive and willing responses to developmental needs. Moreover, innate factors, such as their life experiences, personalities, learning dispositions, innate values and personal needs, served as internal stimuli that directed the teacher leaders’ behaviour and the way they led. The study revealed that if teachers are willing to use what they have to initiate and nurture their development, while looking upon contexts and situations as growth opportunities, teacher leadership development becomes a possibility, even in challenging contexts.
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    Transition practices of sending and receiving teachers for school readiness.
    (2022) Rajiah, Saraswatee.; Naidoo, Jayaluxmi.; Tirvassen, Rada.
    Reforms in the Mauritian education sector have brought major changes in its education system. The lower birth rate has decreased the enrolment at preschools and primary schools, but the increase in number of schools has led to more pressure on transitions of children for sending and receiving teachers. Early childhood education is not being given due importance. Since the Millennium Development Goals on early years’ education aim to achieve universal primary education, there is a need to ensure and promote school readiness and transition. The first research themes identified for the literature review are, “School Readiness”, “National Curriculum Frameworks and Transition Practices”, “Teacher-focused Transition Model” and “The Need for Preparing Children for Primary Schools”. The underpinning theory for the study is “Consequential Transitions Theory” of King Beach. The research gap is that a comprehensive study could not be found which suggests a mechanism enabling smooth transition of children through practices of sending and receiving teachers, and the theoretical premise gap is that there is a dearth of scholarly literature addressing the transition from preschool to primary school through consequential transition. The research problem is “What approach should be adopted to enable school readiness in children for transition from preschools to primary schools through transition practices?” and the research question is, “What should be a framework for transition practices of sending and receiving teachers for school readiness of children?”. The research objective is to formulate a framework for school readiness of children through transition practices of sending and receiving teachers. A qualitative research design has formulated a framework for school readiness of children. Through framework analysis, five themes emerged and resulted in the core concept “Transition practices from preschools to primary schools”. Data is interpreted based on each category. The findings have been summarised per research questions. A transfer scheme has been developed where observation grids have been constructed tailor-made for teachers from each setting. The study contributes to the transition from preschools to primary schools by addressing through school readiness of children.
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    Higher Education teachers' use of social computing in their teaching: the case of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2021) Quilling, Rosemary Diane.; Hugo, Wayne.
    Educational technology literature explores the reasons Higher Education (HE) teachers provide for why they use (or do not use) social computing (Web2.0) applications in their teaching. Reasons are often provided as lists of factors impacting use, rather than systemic, context-based explanations of how patterns of use or non-use have developed over time, are instantiated, and shift in specific instances. This case study, based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa; focuses on 18 HE teachers. The context is challenging, complex and in a state of systemic flux; providing sufficient reasons for teachers to choose not to innovate in teaching. When the study data was produced, the institution had experienced an institutional merger (eight years prior), reorganisation into a college structure (within a year) and was plagued by annual student protests related to student access. A critical realist approach was used as the underlabourer for the study. Teacher use of social computing is represented by an innovation reinforcement cycle of Commitment, Effort and Results. Mechanisms operating at each point in the cycle provide micro-points of interaction or system delays. HE teacher agency is articulated through the use of individual tactics and processes based on social capital. Processes, represented by system causal loops, illustrate the dynamics within the social teaching (and learning) arena and interactions with the institutional structures and processes. The ‘Circuits of HE Teaching Power’ framework represents the flow of power through institutional standing conditions, processes of systemic and social integration, and influences the arenas of negotiation in which actor agency operates. The circuit is completed when actor agency influences standing conditions. Underlying institutional and academic social norms are reinforced through obligatory passage points (OPPs) which seek to govern and control behaviour. Outside the institutional boundary, external forces may influence, and be influenced by, processes of both social and system integration. This theoretical framing is focused on being able to integrate an explanation of processes at both the individual and systemic levels, indicating its relevance at the operational-, tactical/management- and strategic/policy-level. This explanatory framing can also be used as a methodological device: from the individual teacher micro-scale to the institutional macro-scale, as well as at a variety of levels of abstraction, ranging from the transitive empirical and actual layers to the potentially more intransitive layer of the Real.
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    A study of academic and industry conceptions of professional knowledge.
    (2021) Jamal., Mahomed Rafiq,; Samuel_Michael_Anthony_2021
    This study explored conceptions of professional knowledge among academic and industry personnel in the field of chemical engineering. Its main purpose was to abstract from the participant narratives, industry and higher education institutions’ conceptions of the constructions of professional knowledge that are at play within and across their sites in relation to how graduates are prepared for the workplace. Construction implies a conceptual understanding of what professional knowledge is (product) as well as a conception of how this knowledge is acquired or learnt (process). In presenting their conceptions, the participants invoke their reasons why such constructions of professional knowledge exist (purpose) from their points of view. While there are striking convergences within and across the study sites, divergences abound with regard to the constructions. The study thus unveils the complexities of what, how and why these constructions prevail in the way they do. This research was located within an interpretive case study design. The sample consisted of 16 participants, eight from industry and eight from academia. A multi-method approach was employed to generate data, including semi-structured interviews with each participant. This was followed up with a virtual transect walk, a relatively new methodology drawn from agrarian studies which provided deeper insights into the phenomenon. Document analysis was also used to interrogate the genesis and development of the research sites. The participants’ understandings converged around the themes of theoretical knowledge, practice knowledge and personal knowledge, as well as on the factors that drive these conceptions, namely, competence in problem solving, the use of soft skills, professional identity and the role of work integrated learning. The many divergences within and across the sites suggest that context plays a key role in shaping conceptions. For example, the industry site that was profit driven tended to produce hierarchical and compliant knowledge workers whose conceptions tended to characterise professional knowledge as compliance and regulation. The other site within industry which was service driven produced conceptions focused on creativity and problem solving. Academic conceptions mainly focused on the importance of theoretical knowledge and while they viewed the regulatory function as pervasive and useful, they also regarded its gatekeeping function as prescriptive. Two notions of professionalism emerge from these conceptions, namely, an emancipatory and a regulatory conception. The study recommends that a relational phonetic professionalism be applied to better understand graduates’ transition to engineering professionals.
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    The dynamics of child vulnerability in a selected South African primary school: focus on leadership and management.
    (2021) Hoosen, Lynette Denyse.; Chikoko, Vitallis.
    Educators and school managers provide key insights on child vulnerability which are derived from their experiences in the school setting. A more robust understanding of the phenomenon of child vulnerability is necessary to direct school-based intervention and to achieve quality education. Bronfenbrenner’s Bio-ecological Systems’ Theory (1979), Abraham Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation which outlines The Hierarchy of Human Needs (Maslow, 1943), and the Transformational Leadership Model (Burns, 1978) provided a lens to understand the nature and extent of child vulnerability, how it manifested in the school, why it is understood and experienced in the way that it is and what can be learnt from this. The study employed a qualitative, interpretive approach, adopting a single case-study in its methodology. Ethical principles were observed throughout the data-generation process. Trustworthiness of findings was ensured since data was generated through semi-structured, individual face-to-face interviews and two focus-group discussions. Seventeen participants comprising Level one educators, School Based Support Team and School Management Team members were included. Research was conducted in one public primary school in KwaZulu- Natal. Data was analysed and arranged thematically. Insights gained from this study reflect the complexity of the phenomenon of child vulnerability. The South African education system is undergirded by a strong legislative framework, yet fraught with systemic challenges reflecting deficiencies at multiple levels and a lack of collaboration between schools and communities. The quality of education remains poor despite improved access. Challenges that emerged were primarily attributed by educators to unfavourable circumstances within the home. Overwhelmed educators expressed frustration at the lack of support and the circumstances they face. School-based contributors to vulnerability are often overlooked yet are significant. A transformational leadership approach to achieve quality education is required to improve educator role perception and facilitate capacitation of educators to address vulnerability in the school context. Universal staff capacitation for screening, identification, assessment and support of vulnerable learners is necessary to achieve inclusive education. Close school community collaboration to confront harrowing realities inflicted by poverty and deprivation facing children is needed. Finally, this study suggested that school-community collaboration at multiple levels is imperative to address child vulnerability for any intervention to be effective, transformative and sustainable.
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    Immanent umthakathi: critically self-reflexive dung beetle doing: contextually appropriate education for be(com)ing better with_in the world now.
    (2021) Quin, Jane Wilhelmina.; Hugo, Wayne.
    ‘Yearning to be bold’, carefully crossing borders of transformative, pragmatic and indigenous paradigm spaces in search of decolonised radical democratic living and learning liberation, this PhD addresses the question: How is critical education for social justice a contextually appropriate response to teacher development for a more just and equitable world? As indicated in the title, through the ‘miracle of metaphor’ this study ‘faces and embraces’ the paradox of domesticating for submission as a PhD, a thesis seeking means to productively balance the love and rage of struggling to do being in better balance within the radical presence of forever becoming living learning of liberation. The entangled whole is presented for intersubjective sensemaking through bricolage, genealogically weaving together critically self-reflexive ethnography of the Parts, defying fracture of dominant definitions. At least, that is the hopeful possibility pursued as a contributory stream. The reflexive journey produced the applied grounding methodology of the whole offering: Dung Beetle Doing, a regenerative cycle working with Seed Pearl conceptual praxis tools. Originally imagined as a ‘PhD by publication’ three Parts shape the whole. Form is maintained through a structural Beanstalk presenting the cultural production of the ‘Bean’ articles it houses. The titles and taglines of the articles hint at their intersecting contribution:  Growing Social Justice Educators: a pedagogical framework for social justice education  Not the Poor Relation: regarding in-service education development programmes as appropriate assets for our context instead of deficit models for of full contact courses  Teachers Changing Worlds: presenting self-reflective action research of in-service social justice education student teachers  A case study on RPL: reflexive practice in continuing education for Teacher Development  Copying the Dung-Beetle: classic enablers and resistors in the search for contextually appropriate teacher learning and knowledge  Harvesting the Bean Pod: PhD proposal: investigating the use of critical social justice education pedagogy as a contextually appropriate approach to teacher development in South Africa within the current global context  JAW-ly making the Book of WOMB in the way that Dung Beetles Do: Justice and Women workers critically self-reflexively document their work in social rights and reproductive health  Dung Beetle Doing: critically self-reflexive praxis for living liberation Readers are welcomed into participation through a Preamble, leading to a Homestead tour laying out the terrain within.
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    Transnational experiences of teacher leadership: narratives of South African expatriate teachers.Izehleko zothisha abangabaholi emazweni ngamazwe=Okuxoxwa wothisha baseNingizimu Afrika abasebenza kwamanye amazwe.
    (2022) Govender, Ashkelon.; Naicker, Inbanathan.
    Over the past two decades, teacher migration has become popular amongst South African teachers. South African teachers are leaving their home country to go to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country schools owing to better job opportunities and better salaries as compared to South Africa. There are six GCC countries, which South African teachers are being recruited to. Not much is known about the experiences of the South African expatriate teachers, particularly as it relates to teacher leadership. Given this, the focus of the study is to explore the lived experiences of the South African expatriate teachers in the GCC country schools. The purpose of my study is threefold. Firstly, it seeks to make visible the identities of the South African expatriate teachers. Secondly, it explores how their personal and professional lived lives shape their enactment of teacher leadership. Thirdly, it seeks to make visible the enablements and constraints within the GCC country schools influencing the actualizing of teacher leadership. The study uses the teacher identity theory, the distributed leadership theory, and the teacher leadership theory as a lens. The study is positioned within the interpretivist paradigm. Methodologically, the study used narrative inquiry. The study utilized narrative interviews, photo-elicitation, and artefact inquiry to generate field texts. Field texts were then analysed using visual mapping and by finding participants' similarities and particularities of experience. The findings revealed that the South African expatriate teachers possess multiple selves. These multiple selves influenced their teacher leadership enactments in the GCC country schools. Furthermore, organizational culture plays a vital role in the advancement of teacher leadership within the schools, and teacher agency is a driver of teacher leadership in the GCC country schools. The study concluded that the South African expatriate teachers’ multiple selves become an asset in their practices of teacher leadership. Additionally, they exercised their agency by transforming themselves from primary agents to corporate agents to advance their teacher leadership practices. The study contributed to a ground-breaking phenomenon in educational leadership research on teacher leadership and South African expatriate teachers in the GCC country schools. Iqoqa Eminyakeni engamashumi amabili edlule, ukufuduka kwabafundisayo sekube nedumela kothisha baseNingizimu Afrika. Othisha baseNingizimu Afrika bashiya izwe labo baye ezikoleni zakwamanye amazwe zeGulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ngenhloso yokuthola amathuba emisebenzi angcono kanye nemiholo engcono uma uyiqhathanisa neholwa eSouth Africa. Ayisithupha la mazwe eGCC lapho othisha baseNingizimu Afrika bebuthelwa khona. Aluluningi olwaziwayo ngokuthi basebenza kanjani kwamanye amazwe, ikakhulukazi uma kuza ngasebuholini. Ngenxa yalokhu, lolu cwaningo lwagxila ekutholeni ngempilo yomsebenzi wothisha. Eminyakeni engamashumi amabili eyedlule, ukufuduka kwabafundisayo sekube nedumela kothisha baseNingizimu Afrika. Othisha baseNingizimu Afrika bashiya izwe labo baye ezikoleni zakwamanye amazwe zeGulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ngenhloso yokuthola amathuba emisebenzi angcono kanye nemiholo engcono uma uyiqhathanisa neholwa eNingizimu Afrika. Ayisithupha la mazwe eGCC lapho othisha baseNingizimu Afrika bebuthelwa khona. Aluluningi olwaziwayo ngokuthi basebenza kanjani kwamanye amazwe, ikakhulukazi uma kuza ngasebuholini. Ngenxa yalokhu, lolu cwaningo lwagxila ekutholeni ngempilo yomsebenzi yothisha baseNingizimu Afrika abasebenza ezikoleni zamazwe eGCC. Inhloso yalolu cwaningo yayikathathu. Okokuqala, lwaluhlose ukwenza othisha abasebenza ngaphandle babonakale ukuthi bangobani. Okwesibili, lwaluhlola ukuthi impilo yabo neyomsebenzi bayiphile kanjani ukuze bakwazi nokuba ngothisha abakwazi ukuhola abanye. Okwesithathu, lwaluhlose ukugqamisa lokho okwakubasiza kanye nokwakuyizithiyo ezikoleni ezingaphansi kweGCC okwakunomthelela ebuholini babo njengothisha. Ucwaningo lwasebenzisa izinjulalwazi i-teacher identity theory, i-distributed leadership theory, kanye ne-teacher leadership theory njengezinsizakuhlaziya. Ucwaningo lwakhetha indlelakubuka yomhumusho. Ngokwezindlela zokuqhuba ucwaningo, kwakhethwa indlela elandisayo. Lwasebenzisa imposambuzo elandisayo, ukuthatha izithombe, kanye nobuciko obulondoloziwe ukuqoqa imininingo. Imininingo yahlaziywa kusetshenziswa imidwebo engamamephu kanye nokufanayo nokwahlukile ezimpilweni zababambiqhaza. Imiphumela yocwaningo yakhombisa ukuthi othisha abasebenza emazweni angaphandle banobubona obunhlobonhlobo. Lobu bubona bunomthelela ekuholeni kwabo njengothisha ezikoleni zamazwe eGCC. Ngaphezu kwalokho, kwatholakala ukuthi inqubo yangaphakathi ibamba iqhaza elikhulu ekuthuthukiseni ubuholi ngaphakathi ezikoleni, nokuthi ukusebenza ngokuzimisela kothisha yikhona okuqinisa ubuholi ezikoleni zeGCC. Lolu cwaningo luphetha ngokuthi ububona obunhlobonhlobo kothisha baseNingizimu Afrika yibona obube yifa ekusebenzeni kwabo njengabaholi. Ngaphezu kwalokho, bakwazi ukuzimisela ngokuthi bazishintshe ekubeni abazosiza kodwa bazithatha njengabantu abazosebenza enkampanini ukuze bathuthukise ikhono labo lobuholi. Lolu cwaningo lunikele ngolwazi olungandile kwezobuholi kwezemfundo ngokubheka ubuholi bothisha baseNingizimu Afrika abasebenza ezikoleni zeGCC kwamanye amazwe.
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    The district leadership role in supporting teaching and learning in South African schools: evidence from two districts in Gauteng province.
    (2018) Mthembu, Pinkie Euginia.; Bhengu, Thamsanqa Thulani.; Chikoko, Vitallis.
    This study examined the leadership role of district officials in supporting teaching and learning in schools. It explores the views of district officials in two purposively selected district offices in one province of South Africa. Studies on educational leadership have generally shown the relationship between leadership and learner outcomes. They have focused more on leadership within the school and less on that of the District Office. Because district offices lead from the middle, they are well placed to ensure that all schools improve teaching and learning. This gap in the literature on the leadership experiences of district officials has motivated this study. This collective case study was couched within the constructivist research paradigm. It involved indepth face-to-face individual interviews with eight officials comprising two district directors, four curriculum leaders, and two circuit managers. Supplementary data sources included document reviews and observation and accountability meetings with principals. Framed by Open Systems, Public Education Leadership Coherence Framework and Adaptive Leadership theories, the findings of this study revealed that districts were clear about their philosophy with which they communicated to all stakeholders. They shared responsibility and accountability for learner performance with schools. In the process, the District Director and the school principals were put at the centre as enablers. It emerged that data-informed accountability and support meetings were regularly held with schools and communities to garner support for improved teaching and learning. They facilitated professional development and learning opportunities for principals, deputy principals, departmental heads and teachers. Among the key lessons from this study is that it is essential for the district office to have a shared philosophy regarding how teaching and learning should be enhanced. However, philosophy alone is not enough. Thus meaningful strategies need to be developed drawing from that philosophy. Inclusivity in developing and implementing strategies have emerged as important. Furthermore, the study revealed that an important strategy involves operationalising multi-level structures and systems that inform and are in turn informed by various functions and practices that would harness the district-wide context. Also, it is important for district officials to be responsive to different school contexts and also help to identify partners that bolster their efforts. Thus, this study suggests that the ‘we are in it together’ philosophy between the district and the school was the backbone of the two districts’ success.
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    Influences on, and possibilities for, my English pedagogy: a narrative self-study.
    (2017) Campbell, Bridget.; Pithouse-Morgan, Kathleen Jane.
    This thesis reports on a narrative self-study through which I explore the influences on and possibilities for my pedagogy. Throughout the 32 years of my working life, I have been in the field of English education and have always felt that the pedagogy which I enact is quite ordinary. Over the years, I have taught English as a first language and as a second language in secondary schools in South Africa. I have also been actively involved in other phases of education and have taught in the field of Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET). I lectured Communication at a University of Technology and am currently employed on a permanent basis as an English teacher educator at a university in Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa. I aspire to model purposeful pedagogy that will inspire my students. In an attempt to make my enacted pedagogy congruent with that to which I aspire, my starting point was to write my personal history narrative in an attempt to understand my current practice and to identify possibilities for future practice. I was the main participant in the study and the other participants were my sister, my critical friends, my pre-service undergraduate students who volunteered, and my 2015 and 2016 honors students. My research text was my personal narrative and my reflective diary, conversations with my sister, peers and students as well as critical friend feedback served as my field texts. Additional field texts were student emails, assignments and lecture reflections. In the analysis of my personal history narrative, I used my disciplinary knowledge as I juxtaposed my personal narrative with literature and film. In the first layer of the analysis, my personal history narrative was analysed in the same way as I would analyse any other literary text and what was revealed was that more depth was required. This led to a second layer of analysis wherein I juxtaposed my personal history narrative with literature. The second layer of analysis revealed twenty-eight themes which I collapsed into three major dimensions of my pedagogy. A third layer of analysis followed and in this, there was juxtaposition of my personal narrative and film. My original methodological contribution is that of two creative analytic practices. The first being my layered literary analysis. After the layered analysis, I examined my undergraduate and post graduate pedagogy in an attempt to use the influences that had been expose to identify possibilities for current and future pedagogy. In doing so, I used a method of multi-layered pedagogic reflection which is my second creative analytic contribution.
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    The role of traditional leaders in the maintenance of learners’ discipline in rural schools: a multi-site case study.
    (2020) Mngomezulu, Nhlanhla Mbuso.; Bhengu, Thamsanqa Thulani.
    This thesis constitutes the report of the study conducted towards the fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in education. This research project explored the role of traditional leaders in the maintenance of learners’ discipline in rural schools focusing in three secondary schools located in Ilembe District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This study further explored how traditional leaders’ role in schools is experienced by school governors as well as district officials and vice versa. Therefore, this study aimed at understanding how and why some schools utilise traditional leaders in handling issues of learner discipline while others do not. The study was underpinned by interpretivist paradigm and adopted a qualitative multi-site case design. Semi-structured interviews, documents reviews and observations were used to generate data which was analysed through themes generated by using NVIVO. NVIVO is a qualitative data analysis computer software package that helps qualitative researchers to organise, analyse and generate insights from unstructured or qualitative data. The findings of the study suggest that schools and traditional leaders co-exist but have vast leadership approaches in the maintenance of learner discipline. The interaction of school principals with traditional leaders was characterised by complexities, challenges and opportunities. Although the working relationship between schools and the traditional leaders was ad hoc and reactionary, schools that collaborated with Izinduna or Amakhosi succeeded in minimising learner misbehaviour in their schools. The traditional leadeship promotion of indigenous practices underpinned by Ubuntu values appears to have been the missing link in the schools. These findings affirm the existence of the network of interrelationships with systemic levels between schools and communities. The study also showed the significance of engaging invitational leadership where leaders wish to initiate work relationships. While the study confirms the significance of the partnerships between schools and local communities in maintaining learners’ discipline, it also suggests the need for the involvement of traditional leaders in school governance as growers of discipline in rural communities. Lastly, the implications of the findings for various stakeholders are discussed.
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    School principals perceived and desired leadership development pathways: evidence from one district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2020) Ezeonwuachusi, Nnenna Fidelia.; Chikoko, Vitallis.
    The quality of school reforms and learner performance are integrally linked to school principals‟ leadership development, which elicits both anxiety and concern, as evidenced by studies on educational improvements which emphasise the impact of school leadership on learner performance. Thus, how best to prepare school principals as school leaders and determine their leadership development pathways are concerns that continue to be on the education agenda of many countries. Using the context of one school district in South Africa, this qualitative study explores school principals‟ leadership development, looking at their understanding, experiences and conceptions of desired leadership development, and drawing on the perspective of practice context. The study applied a complementarity of framework made up of three theories, Vygotsky‟s (1978) sociocultural theory focusing on the concepts of Zone of Proximal Development and more knowledgeable other, Knowles‟ (1980) Theory of Adult Learning and Assets-Based Theory by Kretzmann and McKnight (1993). The study was positioned within the interpretivist paradigm, adopting a qualitative approach and a case study design. The data generation methods were semi-structured individual interviews and focus group interviews. Major findings revealed that firstly, school principals‟ understanding of leadership development involves training and supporting them in relevant, not just generic, leadership skills and knowledge. Secondly, targeting the school principals‟ development training should include programmes that aim to meet individual and unique needs. Thirdly, their desired leadership development included individualised leadership training, and leadership training using inputs from the experiences of the school principals. The study concludes by highlighting on the lessons learnt, including: 1. Leadership development of school principals needs to be contextually problematised and understood. 2. School leaders desire to take responsibilities for their own learning; setting the objectives and determining what to take away from the learning. 3. Varying approaches to school leadership development provisions including on-site training are desirable to school principals. 4. While school leaders‟ desired areas of leadership development conform to what is commonly outlined in the literature, what is at variance is not the “what”, which is the subject of their leadership development, but the “how” – the processes of providing the leadership development.