Traversing the realm of school governance: storied narratives of female parent governors serving township schools.
Chohan, Tasnim Ebrahim.
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There seems to be a wealth of studies conducted from the perspectives of different stakeholders, namely: principals; teachers and parents, about their experiences in school governance, however, there seems to be a gap in literature pertaining to the day-to-day lived experiences of female parents serving in school governance. In light of this, the purpose of this study was to explore through narrative inquiry, the lived experiences of female parents serving in school governance. The social identity theory and power-control theory formed a theoretical framework to understand the lived experiences of female parent governors. The study used two primary schools as its research foci. These schools are located in a township area called Chatsworth which is situated south of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Three female parent governors were purposively selected as research participants as this study focused specifically on female parents serving in school governing bodies. Data was generated through narrative interviews and collage inquiry. The generated data was analysed at two levels. In the first level of analysis (narrative analysis) participants in collaboration with the researcher, re-storied the data using the emplotment technique to develop individual narrative accounts for each participant. At the second level of analysis (analysis of narratives), I deconstructed the re-storied narratives through paradigmatic processes, to determine common and unique threads that emerged from each narrative account. The findings revealed a conspicuous presence of female parents within the realm of school governance. It emerged very clearly that female parent governors possess multiple similar and unique identities in terms of their family background; religion and socio-economic status. It is also clear that these identities influence the way these female parents execute their roles. Also revealed in this study are the attitudes and perceptions of fellow parent members towards the female parent governors in this study. Evidently, the females in this study have experienced both empowerment and growth whilst challenges in the form of attitudes from fellow members, educators and parents posed to create hurdles for these female governors. However, their passion, determination and love for the children spur them on to go the extra mile in serving competently to ensure positive transformation in the school and to bolster effective teaching and learning which will ultimately benefit the children.