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ERIC Number: EJ867454
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0258-2236
Passing the Buck: This Is Not Teacher Leadership!
Grant, Carolyn; Singh, Hitashi
Perspectives in Education, v27 n3 p289-301 Sep 2009
Despite an enabling democratic policy framework, the leadership of many South African schools remains firmly entrenched within the formal, hierarchical management structure. The potential for teacher leadership is, therefore, relatively untapped and, where it is enacted, it is often restricted. We report on a small qualitative study which explored how the School Management Teams (SMTs) in two primary schools distributed leadership, and the effects of this on the development of teacher leadership. Using questionnaire and interview data, it emerged that teacher leadership existed in both schools at the level of the classroom and in interactions amongst colleagues. However, teacher leadership in relation to school level decision-making, when it occurred, was largely delegated to senior teachers. The findings suggest the existence of two forms of distributed leadership in the schools--a dispersed form within the "teacher domain" and an authorised form within the "SMT domain". We argue for a radical reconceptualising of the concept of leadership at the level of practice in South African schools in an attempt to move towards more dispersed and democratic forms of distributed leadership.
Perspectives in Education. Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-4732; Fax: +27-12-420-3003; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa