An exploration of principals' role in promoting collaborative learning : a case study of two secondary schools in the Ugu District.
Ndovela, Goodman Sithembele.
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In some schools, teachers still work in isolation. It is therefore believed that school principals play a significant role in promoting collaborative learning among teachers. Some scholars have declared that school principal is the key person in determining whether the school succeeds or falters. The study explored the role of school principals in promoting teacher collaborative learning. principals who completed advanced certificate in education- school leadership (ACESL) were investigated. The assumption is that these principals would have promoted collaborative learning among teachers after the completion of this programme. The study followed a qualitative approach which utilised a case study design. The purposive sampling was used to select the participants from participating schools. Semi-structured interviews and document analysis were employed to generate data. The research interviews were recorded and transcribed before they were analysed. Data from the transcriptions were coded and themes emerged transcribed data. The documents were also analysed through content analysis. This was done to ensure the trustworthiness of data. The study reveals the following findings: (a) participants understand collaborative learning from different perspectives (B) principals facilitate collaborative learning by ensuring that heads of departments (HODs) meet with teachers in respective departments. They also encourage even learners to work collaboratively (c) participating principals professionally develop teachers through collaborative learning such as workshops, inviting subject advisors and teachers from other schools, developing teachers in staff meetings and promoting teacher networking (d) principals established teams to promote teacher collaborative learning. These include departmental teams, subjects teams, grade-teacher teams and team-teaching (e) there are fruits in from promoting teacher collaborative learning. These are curbing teacher absenteeism and late coming, performance of teachers and improved teacher morale and commitment (f) principals faced with barriers in promoting teacher collaborative learning and these are teachers’ reluctance to cooperation and the lack of time (g) participating principals employ strategies to overcome barriers of collaborative learning among teachers.