Instructional leadership practices of secondary school principals in the context of multiple deprivations in Umlazi District: a multiple case study.
Mkhize, Bongani Nhlanhla.
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The study reported in this document was conceptualised and conducted as a research project towards a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. The study focused on exploring instructional leadership practices of six secondary school principals (three from rural and three from township secondary schools) in the context of multiple deprivations in Umlazi District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Furthermore, it aimed at exploring how the enactments of the generally successful instructional leadership practices were adapted by school principals to multiple deprived contexts. Adaptive leadership and instructional leadership theories underpinned this research study. Methodologically, the study was underpinned by interpretivist paradigm and adopted a qualitative multiple case design. Semi-structured interviews, documents reviews and observations were used to generate data which was thematically analysed. The findings of the study suggest that multiple deprivation contexts impacted on the ways principals understood and enacted instructional leadership in their schools. The schools were overwhelmed by different technical and adaptive challenges emanating from different forms of deprivations. Values, beliefs, knowledge and experiences that leaders possessed, in varying degrees, shaped their understandings of instructional leadership and their practices. These findings affirm the notion that instructional leadership, more specifically in multiple deprived contexts, is a complex and dynamic construct containing plurality of factors and perspectives that shape its nature. The findings also affirm the appropriateness of viewing personal characteristics of principals and contextual factors as significant to understanding how principals exercise educational leadership. The study has shown that the principals were practicing Ubuntu inclined instructional leadership.