Lecturers as leaders? : a case study of a further education and training college.
Mpangase, Beatrice Nelisiwe.
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The political, social and economic history of the Further Education and Training College Sector and that of the communities it serves influences the operation of these institutions. The history of „state aided‟ and the „state‟ technical colleges has resulted in some Rectors and some Campus Managers having different ideas regarding leadership and management. Campus managers who bring with them the style of a state technical college‟s past tends to follow a very rigid and autocratic management, while those who come from the state aided technical college‟s past tends to emphasize teamwork, delegation but autocracy as well. Getting these campus managers to devolve power to other lecturers in the FET College is somewhat a challenging task. With this in mind, the purpose of this dissertation is to determine the enactment of „lecturer leadership‟ by the classroom lecturers at one FET College, and to investigate what hinders lecturers‟ enactment of leadership in this context. Where leadership is enacted, I intend establishing factors that promote the successful enactment. From a theoretical perspective, distributed leadership theory underpins this study. As I have had little choice but to use the literature on teacher leadership within a schooling context, because there is no literature around the concept of lecturer leadership in the context of the FET College both locally and internationally that I came across. I have taken the liberty of adopting a term „lecturer leadership‟ which is most suited for the FET context. My study is situated within an interpretive paradigm because I worked from the premise that there are multiple truths and I wanted to understand the different interpretations of the world through the lecturer leaders‟ lenses. I aligned myself with Cohen, Manion and Morrison who write “the central endeavour in the context of the interpretive paradigm is to understand the subjective world of human experiences” (2007, p.21). Using a descriptive case study methodology allowed me to track the three lecturer leaders for six month period in the FET College where I worked to get a nuanced description of how lecturer leadership was enacted. The lecturers‟ responses were collected both as numerical data, through survey questionnaires, and textual data, through a focus group and individual interviews, journaling process, and observations.