The role of subject advisors in supporting instructional leadership practices in schools : the case of one education district in KwaZulu-Natal.
This research project explored the role of subject advisors in supporting instructional leadership practices in schools. It was conducted as a case study in one education district in KwaZulu-Natal and involved four subject advisors. One supervised the Junior Phase, the other the Senior Phase and the last two the Further Education and Training Phase. The study investigated what subject advisors do to enact their roles of supporting instructional leadership practices in schools, what are their overall experiences and how they interact with those experiences. This qualitative study was located within an interpretive research paradigm. Instructional leadership and transformational leadership theories were adopted for the study. International, continental and national scholastic literature was interrogated to seek more insight into the research topic. In-depth semi-structured interviews and documents reviews constituted data generation instruments. Data generated was analysed employing thematic analyses that identified codes, categories and themes. The findings informed a general conclusion that subject advisors experience circumstances that impinge on their responsibilities of supporting teaching and learning practices in schools. These impingements render subject advisors less effective as instructional leaders and that has a negative bearing on the academic performance of some of the schools under their supervision. It was also concluded that the Department of Basic Education (DoBE) was not doing enough to support subject advisors in their endeavours. These conclusions and others informed recommendations that aimed at translating the status quo, within the subject advisors‟ practice, into being more effective and efficient.