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«by SILVIA GONAONE MAKGONE submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of MAGISTER TECHNOLOGIAE in the subject HUMAN RESOURCE ...»

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• trust in the leadership of the school;

• sense of purpose – where we are going and why;

• feeling valued;

• feeling that their contribution is important and recognized;

• feeling that their contribution can make a difference.

Developing these five factors becomes a critical part in establishing individual and group motivation to enhance the strategic capacity of the school.

Strategic Capability Davies (2006) makes a distinction between strategic capability and strategic capacity.

He is of the opinion that capacity may be thought of in terms of more teachers, more information technology equipment, new facilities, in general, increasing the amount of resources to build a strategically focused school. Strategic capability deals with enhanced levels of knowledge and understanding, which allow individuals to adapt to change and build new ways of working.

The researcher agrees with Davies, because while schools obviously need more resources, those resources will have a minimal effect unless the abilities and attitudes of individuals can develop creative and meaningful solutions to enhance and not just replicate current practice.

Davies states that strategic capability would encompass abilities such as:

• the ability to see the current situation of the school in a wider system context;

• the ability to recognise and utilize change;

• the ability to envisage and improve future scenarios for the school;

• the ability to build effective relationship to create new understandings across the school;

• the ability to utilise resources in new and innovative ways.

Davies (2006:15) states that:

Leadership is about creating a culture within the school where everyone buys into the responsibility for where the school is now and where it is going.

Engaging and motivating people are vital to a sustainable and successful future of the school. It is obvious that a leader should have characteristics of a strategic leader that will make him/her successful through all the processes of building a strategic focused school.

The next section looks at how effectively leadership can enhance organisational performance.

–  –  –

2.3 Organisational performance versus effective leadership Dunford, Fawcett and Bennet (2000), mention the following attributes: risk taking, passion, confidence, listening, praising, encouraging, acknowledging, having a dream (vision) as very important for a school principal to lead an effective school. This view is

supported by Bush (2008:280) who states that:

“The evidence on school effectiveness and improvement during the last 15 years has consistently shown the pivotal role of effective leadership in securing high quality provision and high standards... effective leadership is a key to both continuous improvement and major system transformation”.

Sergiovanni (2001) sees principal leadership as a set of forces available for improving and maintaining quality schooling. He identified five forces and is of the opinion that each of the “forces” can be used by the principal to push the school towards effectiveness and believes that different forces have different consequences for school effectiveness.

Rhodes et al., (1984:16) describes “Force” as the strength or energy brought to bear on a situation to start or stop motion or change. Five “forces of leadership” – technical, human educational, symbolic, and cultural – are all important. Technical, human and educational are foundational forces that must be provided to ensure that schools will work. Symbolic and cultural are stretcher forces that help schools to rise to levels of extraordinary commitment and performance.

–  –  –

Figure 2.2 Leadership forces Hierarchy Source: From The Principal as Instructional Leader: Reflections on Effectiveness.

(p19) by Rhodes, L.A., Marentette, B., and Trexler, L., 1984, Development Communications Associate, Inc., Alexanda, Virginia.

Explanation of the five leadership forces as articulated by Sergiovanni (2001:100-105)

• Technical – derived from sound management techniques. This force is concern with the technical aspect of leadership. When expressing the technical force, principals can be thought of as assuming the role of a ‘management engineer’, who emphasizes such concepts as planning and time management, contingency leadership theories and organizational structures. As management engineers, principals provide planning, organizing, coordinating and scheduling to the school and are skilled at manipulating strategies and situations to ensure optimum effectiveness (Sergiovanni, 2001:101) Hoyle and Wallace (2005:68) agree with the afore-mentioned when saying that effective leadership and management “take the strain” by creating structures and processes which allow teachers to engage as fully as possible with their key task.

• Human – derived from harnessing the school’s social and interpersonal potential – its human resources. This force is concerned with human aspects leadership.

Principals expressing this force can be thought of as assuming the role of “human engineer”, emphasizing human relations, interpersonal competence, and instrumental motivational techniques. As human engineers, principals provide support, encouragement, and growth opportunities for teachers and others. It is hard to imagine a school functioning properly without the strong presence of this human force of leadership. High student motivation to learn and high teacher motivation to teach are prerequisite for quality schooling and must be effectively addressed by principals (Sergiovanni, 2001:101)





• Educational – derived from expert knowledge about matters of education and schooling. This force is concerned with educational aspects of leadership.

When expressing the educational force, the principal assumes the role of “principal teacher” who brings expert professional knowledge and bearing to teaching, educational program development, and supervision. As principal teacher, the principal is adept at diagnosing education problems; counseling teachers; providing for supervision, evaluation, and staff development; and developing curriculum (Sergiovanni, 2001:101-102)

• Symbolic – derived from focusing the attention of others on matters of importance to the school. This force is concerned with the symbolic aspect of leadership. When expressing this force, the principal assumes the role of “chief”, emphasizing selective attention or the modeling of important goals and behavior, and signalizing to others what is important and valuable in the school. Touring the school; visiting classrooms; seeking out and visibly spending time with students; downplaying management concerns in favour of educational concerns;

presiding over ceremonies, rituals, and other important occasions; and providing a unified vision of the school through proper use of words and actions are examples of principal activities associated with this force (Sergiovanni, 2001:103 Cultural – derived from building unique school cultural aspects of leadership.

When expressing this cultural force, the principal assumes the role of “high priest” seeking to define, strengthen, and articulate those enduring values, beliefs, and cultural strands that give the school its unique identity over time. As high priest, the principal is engaged in legacy building, and in creating, nurturing, and teaching an organisational saga that defines the school as a distinct entity with an identifiable culture that builds institutional character (Sergiovanni, 2001:104-105) According to Sergiovanni (2001:104), the technical aspects of leadership are managing structures and event; human aspects are managing psychological factors such as needs; and educational aspects are managing the substance of our work. By contrast, symbolic aspects are managing sentiment, expectations, commitments, and faith itself.

Because symbolic leadership affects the faith that people have in the school, it provides the principal with a powerful force for influencing school events.

All the above said let us believe that for an organisation to be successful, the leader should have different capabilities that will attribute to the desired high performance of the organisation with an established culture.

Arnott and Soobiah (2007:10) in their article put it as follows, “A culture of high performance depends on commitment at the highest levels of the organisation – not only to set it in motion, but also to maintain the momentum that ensures ongoing high performance.” They further state that a culture of high performance or, in its terminology, performance anatomy, is being divided into three components; namely,

• mindsets,

• practices and

• results.

When the mindsets are aligned, they generate operational practices that, in turn, lead to superior business results. Only when the necessary force, in the form of leadership is exerted does performance anatomy become an effective driver of high performance.

From the above statement it becomes clear that high performance is associated with leadership action. The leader needs to have the right mindset and develop approaches that can lead the organisation to success.

SECTION C

2.4 Contribution of school leadership to academic performance Leadership and management are now of global significance as governments recognise the importance of education, so that they can compete effectively in an international economy, and see effective leadership as the key to school improvement. In many parts of the world, school leaders are being given enhanced status, and in some cases specific training in recognition of their importance.

The idea that leadership especially the leadership of the principal, matters in determining levels of school effectiveness and of student achievement is widely accepted. This is agreed upon by Dunford et al., (2000:1) when they say that everyone agrees that effective leadership is one of the most important factors in the success of a

school. Sergiovanni (2001:99) cited the U.S. governmental study stating the following:

“Principals are important! Indeed, no other school position has greater potential for maintaining and improving quality schools. In many ways the school principal is the most important and influential individual in any school. It is his leadership that sets the tone of the school, the climate for learning, the level of professionalism and morale of teachers and the degree of concern for what students may or may not become. If a school is a vibrant, innovative, childcentered place; if it has a reputation for excellence in teaching; if students are performing to the best of their ability one can almost always point to the principal’s leadership as the key to success”.

Dunford et al., (2000:16) continue by saying that for schools to be effective they need to be well managed, but to excel they need to be led. Those who choose only to manage surrender leadership to others. Principals who lead let others manage.

Leadership of a school is about providing vision, about establishing what the future will be like and then winning support for the vision from those who can make it happen.

Schools whose principal does not lead will get stranded in complacency, problems will not be confronted and solved, and opportunities will be missed. Effective leadership in schools means seizing opportunities, confronting problems and always seeking to improve. The challenge facing many principals is to move out of a management mode into leadership.

The latter opinion is also shared by Bush (2008:272) when he says that:

“School leaders (experience) tensions between competing elements of leadership, management and administration. Irrespective of how these terms are defined, school leaders experience difficulty in deciding the balance between higher order tasks designed to improve staff, student and school performance (leadership), routine maintenance of present operations (management) and lower order duties (administration)”.

The above explanation provides a clear distinction that we know that leadership has to do with change, while management has to do with maintenance. Hargreaves & Fink, (as cited by Robinson, Lloyd and Rowe, 2008) is of the opinion that the literature on sustainability also sees the quality of school leadership as a key to continued organisational learning and improvement.

Although the latter mentioned statement recognises the leadership of the principal as contributing to the effectiveness of the school, there are some critics Hallinger & Heck (as cited by Robinson et al., 2008:637; Witziers et al., 2003 and Marzano et al., 2005) who believe that school leaders (principals) have small and indirect influence on the students outcomes.

According to their belief, most subsequent quantitative research has conceptualised the relationship between leadership and student outcomes as indirect, with leaders establishing the conditions such as, provision of teacher professional learning opportunities, forms of student grouping, through which teachers make a more direct impact on students.

Wong and Evers (2001:17) are of the opinion that poor performance of the school depends essentially upon the leadership of the head and the quality of the teaching.

Robinson et al., (2008:637) put it as follows “we are recognizing that leaders’ impact on student outcomes will depend on the particular leadership practices in which they engage”.

Despite all the mentioned contradictions, the researcher tends to agree with Robinson who came to the conclusion that the focus should be put on types of leadership rather than on leadership as a unitary construct. To strengthen the above mentioned, Leithwood and Montgomery (as cited by Sergiovanni, 2001) identified four levels of leadership behaviour, each with a different focus and style and each with different consequences for principal effectiveness. They found that the “higher” the level of principal behaviour, the more effective the school. Effectiveness was defined as gains in student achievement in the “basics” and increases in student self-direction and problem solving.



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