Research and Evaluation Reports

School Laedership and Management in South Africa: A Systematic Literature Review by Tony Bush and Derek Glover

The research involved a systematic review of all the major data bases, including identification of all relevant articles in South African and international journals, books and chapters in edited volumes, theses, and published research reports. 

Name of Organisation/service provider: Tony Bush and Derek Glover

Name of Project/intervention: School Leadership and Management in South Africa:
A Systematic Literature Review

Duration of Project: 2013

 

Background


The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is planning to introduce an Advanced Diploma in Education (ADE): School Leadership and Management, from 2015. A meeting of the DBE and the National Management and Leadership Council on how to proceed with the development of the ADE framework and curriculum resulted in the call for an updated literature review into School Leadership and Management. This literature review report would then underpin the ADE curriculum design and content.

The research involved a systematic review of all the major data bases, including identification of all relevant articles in South African and international journals, books and chapters in edited volumes, theses, and published research reports.

 

Focus areas of the literature review


The review includes all aspects of school leadership and management, but with a particular focus on the topics included within the five core modules of the current Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) programme:

• Understanding school leadership and management in the South African context;

• Manage policy, planning, school development and governance;

• Lead and manage people;

• Lead and manage organisational systems, physical and financial resources; and

• Manage teaching and learning.

 

Under each of these five focus areas the authors provide a review of literature relating to a number of related leadership and management themes:

 

Understanding school leadership and management in the South African context:

• The significance of context for school management

• The South African constitution, legislation and policy

• The role of the school principal

• School culture

• Social justice and children’s rights

• Accountability

• Leadership and management models

 

Managing policy, planning, school development and governance:

• Governance

• Stakeholders

• Democracy and transformation

• Policy formation at school level

• School development

• School development planning

 

Lead and manage people:

• Staff recruitment, induction, mentoring, development and discipline

• Motivation and communication

• Leadership teams

• The learning organisation

• Leadership development

• Managing the external environment

 

Managing organisational systems, physical and financial resources:

• Managing ICT

• Managing finance

• Managing health and safety

• Managing school grounds, buildings and equipment

 

Manage teaching and learning:

• Curriculum management

• Evaluating learner outcomes

• Monitoring classroom practice

• Classroom observation

• Mentoring

• Modelling

 

Using the Literature Review to Develop the ADE Curriculum

 

This review of research and literature on leadership and management in South African schools shows a considerable increase in the sources available for the development of the ADE: School Leadership.

While the ACE curriculum relied heavily on international literature, and on fictional ‘scenarios’, the ADE curriculum can be informed by research grounded in a range of South African school contexts. Some areas still have limited research, notably managing physical and financial resources, and managing teaching and learning, but there are a few sources to utilise in developing the ADE. In other areas, there is more relevant literature although there is still ample scope to add to the research evidence on school leadership and management in South Africa.

In following the structure of the ACE core modules, the literature review and the material summarised in the review should provide a helpful starting point for the DBE team appointed to design and develop the ADE modules.

These sources can underpin the discussion of each module and unit, while edited versions of the quotations could be used as boxed text to illustrate points made by authors. The ACE programme has already made a major contribution to school improvement in South Africa and a well designed ADE, underpinned by the research reported in this review, should be able to continue and extend the progress reported in the evaluations of the ACE programme.

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