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dc.contributor.advisorJita, L. C.
dc.contributor.authorMalinga, Cynthia Baxolile Balamlile
dc.date.accessioned2016-10-26T13:55:14Z
dc.date.available2016-10-26T13:55:14Z
dc.date.issued2016-02
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11660/4226
dc.description.abstractEnglish: Natural Sciences (NS) Heads of Department (HODs) in schools often find themselves in the middle, shuttling between a role in the management of the school and another as ordinary classroom teachers. This is in addition to their role as subject leaders, a role which is made even more complex by the fact that NS is a conglomerate subject which brings together at least four science disciplines, each with its own disciplinary culture and expectations. Leading such a multidisciplinary subject department requires, among others, competence in each of the sub-disciplines and how to teach them effectively together with the ability to provide support and guidance to other members of the department by setting and monitoring standards of performance in the classrooms. This is a tall order for many HODs under the best of circumstances. The history of under-privilege in many South African schools and the relatively weak subject matter competence among many of the science teachers and HODs makes this even more complicated. How do NS HODs in South Africa negotiate their roles as middle managers to provide effective instructional leadership in their subject departments? Furthermore, what is their capacity to provide such subject leadership and how can it be enhanced? The study uses a mixed methods research approach with questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and observation of subject department meetings as data sources to understand the realities of providing subject leadership for NS in selected schools within the Gauteng province of South Africa. The findings are reported in five articles that address different research questions. The first article explores the ways in which HODs in South Africa provide instructional leadership for NS specifically. The second article examines the nature and quality of support and guidance that the HODs receive from their principals and the subject advisors in respect of the multidimensional roles as subject leaders and middle managers. The third article provides a comparative perspective of instructional leadership for NS among six formerly segregated schools in the Gauteng province. The fourth article examines the perceptions of the NS teachers on the quality of instructional leadership provided by the science HODs. The final article discusses the issue of “capacity to lead” and examines the possibilities and opportunities for enhancing the capacities of the NS HODs. The first set of findings suggests that most science HODs do not teach NS and/or do not have the instructional experience needed for all the sub-disciplines under their leadership. Some are not adequately qualified to teach NS at all and/or do not have the subject matter competency, the Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), or the professional credibility to lead NS instruction. As a result, they often resort to monitoring instruction through desk-top reviews of teachers’ and students’ work rather than conduct any meaningful classroom observations or spend time discussing curriculum issues with the teachers. This limits their capacity to provide effective instructional leadership. The second set of findings have to do with the conglomerate arrangement of the science departments in the schools, which makes it difficult for science HODs to focus attention on NS relative to the other subjects in the mix. As a result, the NS teachers feel marginalised and are overshadowed by the senior secondary subject teachers, whose subjects receive more attention because of their prominence in the Grade 12 national examinations. The third set of findings uncovered the rather weak position of the science HODs as middle managers within the overall leadership hierarchy of the school. By virtue of their position within the school leadership hierarchy, the science HODs do not have much of a say on who gets allocated to teach NS, how the subjects are grouped within the science departments and how time is allocated and/or protected for subject meetings and professional development of teachers. The fourth set of findings unpack the observation that subject advisors and other district support officials often choose to work directly with the NS teachers in providing professional development and/or curriculum support on the new Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) with no similar support for the HODs specifically. While the HODs benefit from such support by the district, the benefits relate more to their roles as teachers rather than as subject leaders. The final set of findings show that neither the school leadership teams nor the district offices engage in any periodic reviews of the school-based subject leadership structures and practices to determine their effectiveness, thereby limiting the possibilities and opportunities for enhancement of subject leadership at the school level. The study concludes with a discussion of the complexities of leading NS departments within the current school contexts and configurations. Firstly, the requirements for multi-disciplinary expertise and competency in all of them represent a tall order for many HODs. Secondly, the current allocation of NS teachers by school leaders does not carefully consider their specialisation and that of the HODs who are expected to provide support for improved instruction. Thirdly, the success of the science HODs in supporting instruction depends on how the school arranges its systems and infrastructure to support instruction and its improvement in each subject. Lastly, the capacity of science HODs to provide effective instruction leadership is compromised by their middle management position, which provides neither the time and resources nor the required authority for such subject leadership. The study recommends a review of the structures and practices for subject leadership in schools in order to provide the time, resources and authority for HODs to improve their capacity to lead. School leaders and district officers need to re-examine their criteria and processes for allocation of both the NS teachers and the HODs in order to foster subject competence and better leadership. Furthermore, subject specific training and support in the NS sub-disciplines, especially the physical sciences strands, is required for science teachers and their HODs. Finally, the relationship between HODs and subject advisors needs to be strengthened by forming a professional learning community (PLC) for these subject leaders in order to enhance the capacity to lead NS in schools.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAfrikaans: Die departementshoofde (DH’s) van Natuurwetenskappe (NW) in skole word dikwels in die middel vasgevang en moet wissel tussen hul rol in die bestuur van die skool en hul rol as ’n gewone klasonderwyser. Dit is bykomend tot hul rol as vakleiers, ’n rol wat nog meer ingewikkeld gemaak word weens die feit dat NW ’n saamgestelde vak is wat ten minste vier wetenskaplike dissiplines saamvoeg, elk met sy eie dissiplinêre kultuur en verwagtinge. Om so ’n multi-dissiplinêre vak te lei, vereis onder meer vaardigheid in elk van die sub-dissiplines en in hoe om hulle effektief aan te bied, tesame met die vermoë om ondersteuning en begeleiding aan ander departementslede te verskaf deur standaarde van prestasie in die klaskamer op te stel en te monitor. Dit is ’n strawwe opdrag vir baie DH’s, selfs onder ideale omstandighede. Die geskiedenis van onder-bevoorregting in baie Suid-Afrikaanse skole en die relatief swak vaardigheid in die vakinhoud onder talle wetenskaponderwysers en DH’s, maak dit selfs nog meer ingewikkeld. Hoe kan DH’s in NW in Suid-Afrika hul rolle as middelbestuurders uitvoer om effektiewe onderrigleierskap in hul vakdepartemente te verskaf? Wat is hul kapasiteit om sulke vakleierskap te verskaf en hoe kan dit verbeter word? Die studie gebruik ’n navorsingsbenadering van gemengde metodes, met vraelyste, semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude en observasie van vakdepartementsvergaderings as databronne, om sodoende die realiteite van die verskaffing van vakleierskap vir NW in geselekteerde skole binne die provinsie van Gauteng in Suid-Afrika te verstaan. Die bevindings word weergegee in vyf artikels wat verskillende navorsingsvrae aanspreek. Die eerste artikel verken die maniere waarop DH’s in Suid-Afrika onderrigleierskap vir spesifiek NW verskaf. Die tweede artikel ondersoek die aard en gehalte van ondersteuning en begeleiding wat die DH’s van hul skoolhoofde en die vakadviseurs ontvang ten opsigte van die multidimensionele rolle as vakleiers en middelbestuurders. Die derde artikel verskaf ’n vergelykende perspektief van onderrigleierskap vir NW onder ses voormalig afgeskeide skole in die provinsie van Gauteng. Die vierde artikel ondersoek die persepsies van die NW-onderwysers oor die gehalte van onderrigleierskap wat deur die wetenskap-DH’s verskaf word. Die laaste artikel bespreek die kwessie van “kapasiteit om te lei” en ondersoek die moontlikhede en geleenthede vir versterking van die DH’s in NW se kapasiteite. Die eerste stel bevindings suggereer dat die meeste wetenskap-DH’s nie NW aanbied nie en/of nie oor die onderrigervaring wat vir al die sub-dissiplines onder hul leierskap nodig is, beskik nie. Sommige is nie gekwalifiseerd om NW aan te bied nie en/of het nie vaardigheid in die vak, die Pedagogiese Inhoudkennis (PIK) of die professionele geloofwaardigheid om NW-onderrig te lei nie. As gevolg hiervan maak hulle dikwels staat op lessenaaroorsigte van onderwysers en studente se werk om onderrig te monitor, eerder as sinvolle klaskamerobservasie en bespreking van kurrikulumkwessies met die onderwysers. Dit beperk hul kapasiteit om effektiewe onderrigleierskap te verskaf. Die tweede stel bevindings het te make met die saamgestelde rangskikking van die wetenskapdepartemente in die skole, wat dit moeilik maak vir wetenskap-DH’s om aandag op NW relatief tot die ander betrokke vakke te fokus. As gevolg hiervan voel NW-onderwysers gemarginaliseerd en oorskadu deur die senior vakonderwysers, wie se vakke meer aandag kry vanweë hul prominensie in die nasionale eksamens in graad 12. Die derde stel bevindings werp lig op die ietwat swak posisie van die wetenskap-DH’s as middelbestuurders binne die algehele leierskapshierargie van die skool. Weens hul posisie binne die skoolleierskapshierargie het die wetenskap-DH’s nie veel insette oor wie aangewys word om NW aan te bied, hoe die vakke binne die wetenskapdepartemente gegroepeer word en hoe tyd toegewys en/of beskerm word vir vakvergaderings en professionele ontwikkeling van onderwysers nie. Die vierde stel bevindings gee ’n uiteensetting van die waarneming dat vakadviseurs en ander distriksbeamptes dikwels verkies om direk met die NW-onderwysers te werk wat betref die verskaffing van professionele ontwikkeling- en/of kurrikulumondersteuning ten opsigte van die nuwe Kurrikulum- en assesseringsbeleidsverklaring (KABV), met geen soortgelyke ondersteuning vir spesifiek die DH’s nie. Terwyl die DH’s voordeel trek uit sulke ondersteuning deur die distrik, hou die voordele groter verband met hul rolle as onderwysers eerder as vakleiers. Die laaste stel bevindings wys dat gereelde hersiening van die skoolgebaseerde vakleierskapstrukture en praktykte om hul doeltreffendheid vas te stel, nie deur die skoolleierskap of die distrikskantore gedoen word nie, wat die moontlikhede en geleenthede vir die verbetering van vakleierskap op die skoolvlak beperk. Die studie sluit af met ’n bespreking van die kompleksiteite van leierskap binne NW-departemente binne die huidige skoolkontekste en -groeperings. Eerstens is dit ’n strawwe opdrag vir talle DH’s om aan die vereistes vir multi-dissiplinêre kundigheid en vaardigheid te voldoen. Tweedens toon die huidige aanwysing van NW-onderwysers deur skoolleiers nie versigtige oorweging van hul spesialisasie nie en ook nie van die spesialisasie van die DH’s waarvan verwag word om ondersteuning vir verbeterde onderrig te verskaf nie. Derdens hang die sukses van die wetenskap-DH’s wat onderrigondersteuning betref af van hoe die skool sy stelsels en infrastruktuur rangskik om onderrig en die verbetering daarvan in elke vak te ondersteun. Laastens word die vermoë van wetenskap-DH’s om effektiewe leierskap te verskaf in die wiele gery deur hul posisie as middelbestuur, wat nie voorsiening maak vir die tyd en hulpbronne of die nodige gesag vir sulke vakleierskap nie. Die studie beveel ’n hersiening aan van die strukture en praktyke vir vakleierskap in skole om sodoende die tyd, hulpbronne en gesag wat DH’s benodig om hul leierskapkapasiteit te verbeter, te verskaf. Skoolleiers en distriksbeamptes moet hul kriteria en prosesse vir die aanwysing van NW-onderwysers en die DH’s weer bekyk om sodoende vakvaardigheid en beter leierskap te bevorder. Verder is vakspesifieke opleiding en ondersteuning in die NW-dissiplines, veral in fisiese wetenskappe, nodig vir wetenskaponderwysers en hul DH’s. Laastens moet die verhouding tussen DH’s en vakadviseurs versterk word deur ’n professionele leergemeenskap (PLG) vir hierdie vakleiers te vorm, om sodoende die kapasiteit om NW in skole te begelei, te versterk.af
dc.description.sponsorshipNational Research Foundation (NRF)en_ZA
dc.language.isoenen_ZA
dc.publisherUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA
dc.subjectNatural sciencesen_ZA
dc.subjectHeads of departmenten_ZA
dc.subjectSubject departmentsen_ZA
dc.subjectInstructional leadershipen_ZA
dc.subjectMiddle managementen_ZA
dc.subjectTeachingen_ZA
dc.subjectSchool leadershipen_ZA
dc.subjectThesis (Ph. D. (School of Mathematics Natural Sciences and Technology Education))--University of the Free State, 2016en_ZA
dc.titleMiddle management and instructional leadership: a case study of natural sciences’ heads of department in the Gauteng Provinceen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.rights.holderUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA


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