'The ripple effect of teacher leadership' : a case study of three teacher leaders in a semi-urban secondary school in KwaZulu-Natal.
The vision of education policies in South Africa, post 1994 is to shift management practices from traditional autocratic headship to a multiple- leader perspective where leadership is dispersed across the school organization. Within this distributive perspective of leadership lies the notion of teacher leadership. However, the conceptual understanding of teacher leadership is still in its infancy in South Africa and, of even greater concern is that the practice of teacher leadership is not deeply rooted in the culture of many of the country’s schools.Theorizing from a distributed leadership framework, this small-scale study examines teacher leadership in action. The purpose of the study was to examine how teacher leadership was enacted and to explore that factors that enhanced and hindered this enactment in the case study school. The study was conducted within a qualitative interpretive paradigm and took the form of a case study of three post level one teachers and their enactment of leadership in a semi-urban secondary school in KwaZulu-Natal. Data collection techniques included semi -structured individual interviews, a focus group interview, self-reflective journal writing, questionnaires, observation and document analysis. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis. Grant’s (2008) zones and roles model and Gunter’s (2005) characterisation of distributed leadership served as analytical tools in the study.