Exploring instructional leadership practices within the context of multi-grade teaching : experiences of principals and teachers.
Gasa, Abigail Nelisiwe.
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This study aims to explore experiences of principals and teachers in enacting instructional leadership within the context of multi-grade teaching. Attempting to realise the study purpose a qualitative research design was employed using a case study of four principals and four teachers purposefully selected in four schools practicing Multi-Grade Teaching. The study was conducted in a sparsely populated deep rural area of Pinetown District. The common factor amongst these schools was that their enrolment was dwindling and it was above ninety and below one hundred and eighty. The research instruments included semi-structured interviews, document reviews and classroom observation. The findings indicated that Multi-Grade Teaching is accustomed by challenges including the absence of policy on MGT, lack of training on MGT, the paucity of support from the officials of the Department of Basic Education, work overload and the inability to cover it due to time constraint, language of learning and teaching and lack of content knowledge as a barrier. Schools use various strategies to overcome them. The strategies included encouraging teachers to work hard to achieve the school vision and mission, delegation, team-work, monitoring their work and providing feedback. They work beyond the call of duty and rely on the assistance of support staff and volunteers to teach learners.