ERIC Number: EJ1244475
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Step Children of the Science Department? The Neglect of the Grade 8 and 9 Natural Sciences Teachers in South African Secondary Schools
Malinga, Cynthia B.; Jita, Loyiso C.
Educational Management Administration & Leadership, v48 n2 p231-247 Mar 2020
To date, little research has been conducted on subject leadership by primary and/or junior secondary school heads of department (HODs). Unlike their senior secondary school counterparts, South African science HODs have the more complex task of leading in the multidisciplinary context of natural sciences (NS1). Such leadership comes in addition to the complications of role ambiguity, limited time and authority that are inherent in the HOD position. Using interviews and 360° multi-rater by four teachers and subject meeting observations, data were transcribed and categorised into themes that describe the instructional leadership practices of three NS HODs in South Africa. This paper is part of a more comprehensive PhD study. It suggests that providing leadership for NS teaching is more complex in practice than has been reported to date. In the context of increasing focus on accountability and national testing, the unintended consequence has been the neglect of the junior secondary NS teachers by the HODs. Furthermore, the data suggest that the HODs tend to limit their attention to areas of their own specialisation. The paper concludes with a conceptual framework that provides guidance for improving instructional leadership by the HODs in such multidisciplinary contexts, especially for the junior secondary school levels. It also recommends the restructuring of the conglomerate departments to make them more effective.
Descriptors: Secondary School Teachers, Grade 8, Grade 9, Foreign Countries, Natural Sciences, Science Teachers, Department Heads, Instructional Leadership, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Attitudes, Public Schools, Role Conflict
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; Elementary Education; Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Grade 9; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa (Johannesburg)