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ERIC Number: EJ911203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
ISSN: ISSN-1741-1432
Landscapes of Leadership in South African Schools: Mapping the Changes
Christie, Pam
Educational Management Administration & Leadership, v38 n6 p694-711 Nov 2010
This article argues that the work of school principals in South Africa is shaped by two major sets of constructs or "landscapes": the literature on leadership and management which provides particular constructions of the field and its changes; and the terrain of new policy frameworks adopted after apartheid to transform the education system. In terms of the former, the influence of international debates may be seen in South Africa, but these are situated adaptations rather than simple reflections. In terms of the latter, the new policies are underpinned by a tangled network of regulations on governance, labour relations and performance management, which bring complexity to the task of running schools. In addition, the enormous inequalities that continue to exist between schools mean that the work of principals is very different in different contexts. The article argues that a mismatch between the ideal and the actual may impede, rather than assist, attempts to improve schools. In particular, constructions of principals' work in discourses that conflate leadership and management, that over-generalize, and that do not engage seriously with local conditions and the day-to-day experiences of principals, are likely to provide distorted depictions of principals' work. In this context, a better understanding of the landscapes of leadership is a necessary starting point for change.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa