Exploring the role of heads of departments:a case study of one secondary school in Ixopo circuit.
Dlamini, Andile Londiwe Zamakhaya.
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There are substantive internal and external demands for improved learner’s achievement, particularly in secondary schools, and increasingly, the heads of departments have to bear the pressures that accompany these demands. Curriculum management is being advocated as an approach that managers may consider in promoting a culture of teaching and learning within their schools. Therefore a qualitative case study was undertaken to explore the role of heads of departments in Ixopo Circuit in Curriculum management. The focus of the study was based on the assumption that the heads of Departments (HODs) are curriculum managers and as such, it is the expectation of Department of Education policy that they play such roles. The study therefore, did not seek to find if HODs in the study were indeed curriculum managers, but it sought to understand the manner in which they practiced this expectation. In short, the study sought to gain an insight into how secondary school HODs in this area understand curriculum management and how they manage curriculum and why HODs manage the curriculum the way they did. One secondary school was selected among those other schools that had experienced drastic improvement in their matric results in the past five years. The research design employed was qualitative and semi-structured interviews, observation schedules and document reviews with four HODs and four educator’s one from each department. These interviews were audiotaped and transcribed for analysis. The results indicated that HODs, in curriculum management is a fundamental task through which the HODs can improve the quality of teaching and learning in their departments and in the whole school. This will build the expectations for student learning and ensuring that all staff members strive to meet expectations by working collegial with them. The main reason for working with teachers was to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the school.