«by SILVIA GONAONE MAKGONE submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of MAGISTER TECHNOLOGIAE in the subject HUMAN RESOURCE ...»
1, 4.2, and 4.3. A total of each school’s “almost always” and “almost never” of the six functions was put together respectively and a mean calculated.
The results provide an overview of teacher responses of leadership functions across the three schools. Principal of School B obtained quite a high score across the functions at 66%, while Principal of School C is average with 46% and School A Principal is far below average with 28%.
The results put School B Principal in first place, Principal of School C in second and Principal of School A in the third place. The assessment correlates positively with the end of year examination (2011) results: School B has 27,8%, School C 10,3% and School A 7,6% pass rate in the Junior Secondary examinations (Appendix E).
4.3.5 Results: Principals’ questionnaire The first question asked the Principals to indicate the number of years of their professional training and the results show that the three Principals are well qualified, as they possess qualifications of five to six years of tertiary education.
The second question asked the Principals to indicate the number of years of being Principal. The responses are indicated in table 4.6 below
The principal of School C has under six years’ experience as a Principal, while the other two have between 11 and 20 years of experience.
The third question asked the Principals to indicate the number of years they have been Principal at the current school. The responses are in table 4.7
The Principal of School A indicated 0 to 2 years, Principal B indicated 5 to 6 years, while Principal C indicated 3 to 4 years at the present school.
The fourth question asked the Principals to write down the mission statements of their respective schools. All three Principals wrote down the mission statements of their schools. It is worth mentioning that the Principals completed the questionnaire in their offices and could have copied the mission statements, an opportunity which the teachers did not have.
The fifth question asked the Principals to indicate the overall pass percentage targeted for their school for 2011.
School A Principal indicated 55%, School B Principal indicated 30%, while School C Principal indicated 50%.
The sixth question asked the Principals whether their professional training included any leadership courses. The Principals of Schools A and B responded in the affirmative, while School C Principal’s response was negative.
The seventh question requested the Principals to write down any in-service training they received during their tenure as Principals and also to indicate the years of the inservice training.
Principal of School A indicated that in 2009, he received ‘Workplace Wellness’ training.
The Principal of School B, indicated to have received courses from the Institution of African Leadership Management, Leadership and School Management courses and International Computer Driver’s Licence (ICDL). School C’s Principal indicated that he was enrolled with Institute for Open Learning (IOL) for Bachelor of Education (Honours), but this was on his own initiative.
4.4 Discussion of results by hypothesis
The analysis of the data of the survey, especially Part B in figures 4.1 to 4.6 that assess the perception of the teachers and inspectors indicate that Principals of School A and C almost never demonstrate most of the leadership behaviours that are measured by the PIMRS instrument. The survey was done during August 2011 and the November 2011 results show that the three schools occupy the three bottom places out of the ten (10) schools in Omaheke Region offering Junior Secondary Examinations. (Appendix E) The data also indicated that the Principal of School B according to the rating is demonstrating the leadership behaviours measured by the PIMRS as he was rated 60% and above.
The first null hypothesis stated that:
There is no relationship between instructional leadership of a Principal and academic performance of the learners.
To address the null hypothesis the scores of the leadership functions were calculated to see whether the Principals as perceived by the teachers are high or low in a behaviour area. For this survey an above average score will be above 50% and will indicate that the Principal is perceived to be engaging in instructional leadership.
The survey results (figures 4.1, 4.3, 4.4 and 4.6) as summarised in Table 4.5 indicated that the Principals of Schools A and C almost never demonstrated most job behaviours as measured by the PIMRS instrument. As mentioned by Hallinger, and Murphy, (1987) in chapter two, principals with high ratings across the various job functions are perceived as instructional leaders and are associated with effective schools.
The Principals of school A and C obtained low ratings across the leadership functions, except for job function 2 for principal of school C. Due to the below average performance, these principals cannot be perceived as engaging in instructional leadership and cannot be associated with high performing and effective schools.
The null hypothesis must be rejected because there is a relationship between instructional leadership of a Principal and academic performance of the learners. The lack of instructional leadership in these schools as per the results is demonstrated as being a contributing factor to poor performance in the schools.
The second null hypothesis stated that:
There is no significant difference in a principal’s instructional leadership behaviour as perceived by teachers and inspectors To address this hypothesis, the scores of teachers and inspectors were compared to determine whether there is a significant difference, and the results indicated the
School A results indicated a difference in job function 2 (communicates school goals) where the teachers gave a low performance of 38% while the inspector rated the principal 80%. The results of the teachers and the inspector did not show a significant difference for the following job functions: sets school goals, supervising instruction and promotes school improvement. On average it can be concluded that the difference between Principals’ scores as perceived by teachers and inspectors of school A is not much.
With regard to school B, there was a significant difference between the principal’s scores as perceived by the teachers and the inspector. Teachers’ assessment indicated that the principal almost always demonstrate the behaviours as all ratings were above 60%, while the inspector indicated that the principal almost never did so, with the lowest being supervising instruction with 0%. This contradiction will be interpreted at the thematic analysis with reference to the results obtained by that principal during the 2011 examinations.
It can be concluded that the results of school C show that the teachers rated the principal 60% on the function of setting school goals, while the inspector indicated 20%.
The job functions of, communicates school goals, supervising instruction and school improvement did not show a significant difference as rated by the teachers and the inspector.
The results show that there is a relationship between the instructional leadership of a Principal and the academic performance of the learners as perceived by teachers and the inspectors. The relationship is that there is not much instructional leadership demonstrated by the Principals which is the cause of poor academic performance in the three schools. It is therefore right to state that the second null hypothesis should also be rejected.
4.5 Thematic analysis The descriptive data of the survey shows that most teachers of the three schools are qualified and have enough teaching experience. This means that poor academic performance cannot be attributed to lack of experience or to un- or under qualification of the teachers.
It is observed that teachers of School B have worked more years with the current principal and the teachers reflected a more positive picture of him, as he was perceived to be above 64% in most job functions.
The above perception is contradicted by the inspector. The data shows that the Principal of school B has stayed for six years at that school. 63,2% of the teachers worked three and more years with the principal and the assumption would be that the teachers know the principal better than the inspector, and that could be the reason of the high ratings from the teachers. However, the examination results of the school correlates more with the rating of the inspector.
Principals of Schools A and C had only two to three years at the respective schools.
The perception by the teachers corresponds with the perception of the inspector, except on one job function of each of the principals (table 4.5). It is also interesting to mention that the outcome of the examination results of 2011 as indicated before, also reflected the same to show that the principals are not engaged in instructional leadership, which is contributing to the poor performance in the schools.
It is expected of any leader to define a very clear mission for the organisation he/she is heading so as to give clear direction, priorities and articulate goals for that organisation.
This is why teachers and Principals were requested to write down the mission statement of their schools. Part B of the questionnaire looked at two job functions, which are Setting the school’s goals, and communicating the school’s goals’ This function concerns the Principals’ role in determining the central purpose of the school. According to Hallinger (2005) this dimension focuses on the Principal’s role in working with staff to ensure that the school has clear, measurable, time-based goals focused on the academic progress of students. It is also the Principal’s responsibility to communicate these goals so that they are widely known and supported throughout the school community.
Each of the three schools surveyed had a mission statement on the notice boards of the staff-room and the Principal’s office. It became evident in the results that the mission statements were not a result of collective activity with the teachers let alone the parents, learners and school board that form the school community.
The teachers were not able to copy the mission statement as the survey was done in a different venue than the staffroom. It was established through interview that all teachers knew of the existence of the mission statements of their schools and that it is in the staff room.
The researcher could not establish with certainty that the Principals knew the mission statements of their schools, as they did their questionnaire in their offices and could have copied it, an opportunity which the teachers did not have. The results show that the principals are perceived to demonstrate active leadership in the dimension of defining the school mission.
This could imply that the Principals are good in articulating the school goals without involving the school community or they are not implementers of what they articulate.
In chapter one, reference was made to the definition by Bennis and Nanus (1985), that leadership is about vision and goals and it would be expected that each leader’s action in a school will be directed towards the achievement of pre-determined outcomes, if there are any.
It is observed through the results that the schools did not have a targeted passing percentage rate for the year, although it is expected through the Plan of Action for Academic Improvement (PAAI) system in Namibia which requires schools to set targets to improve performance. A very disturbing fact is the response of the Principal of School B who indicated the overall passing target percentage of the school as 30%. This may imply that the Principal has no vision for improvement and commitment towards the success of the school.
The results also indicated that class observation is neglected throughout the three schools, showing that on average one observation is taking place per teacher per year in all three schools. It is important to note that the results were calculated using the highest cohort on the number of class observations done by the principal. The scenario will be worse if the lowest number of the cohort will be used for the calculation.
This phenomenon shows that monitoring of teaching and learning in schools is not taking place. This is a very serious cause for concern as teaching and learning is the core function of a school environment. This is what Sergiovanni (2001) called for in the literature review, when he said that high student motivation to learn and high teacher motivation to teach are prerequisite for quality schooling and must be effectively addressed by principals.
The results of the teachers in part B indicated that job function: monitoring student progress is the job function that is lowly rated in all three schools even in school B where all job functions were above 60%. This means that the principals of the three schools were perceived as almost never demonstrating the described function.
Robinson, et al. (2008) in chapter 2 emphasised that in high performing schools student progress is monitored and that test results were used for the purpose of programme improvement. It is obvious that when this important function is not taking place in a school, poor academic performance should be expected.
An inspector assessed the Principals only on four functions, namely, sets the school goal (1), communicates the school goal (2), supervises and evaluates instruction (3) and promotes school improvement (6) and these ratings were compared with the assessment done by teachers. It is interesting to note that most ratings of the teachers and inspectors agree in terms of below average performance of Principals of school A and C as illustrated in figures 4.1, 4.3, 4.4 and 4.6., as summarised in table 4.5. The exception can be seen with regard to job function 1 for school C principal that was rated 60% by the teachers, and job function 2 for school A principal that was rated 80% by the inspector.