A systems perspective on pedagogic leadership.
The purpose of this study is to explore pedagogic leadership from a systems thinking perspective. The aim is to develop an understanding that pedagogic leadership, from a systems thinking perspective, plays an integral role in improving the approach in teaching and learning and hence in students’ outcomes. Semi-structured interviews were used as a tool to solicit detailed information about the presence of pedagogic leadership from a systems thinking perspective in schools. This study was undertaken in three selected high schools in the South Durban region, KwaZulu-Natal. The respondents were the principals of three schools and, focus groups of grade 12 teachers and students. The research paradigm was based on the interpretative approach enquiry. Questions that were answered by this study were: • What are the key dimensions of leadership in learning and teaching? • How would these dimensions be evident in a school? • How can these dimensions be initiated, nurtured and developed? Findings revealed that there is: an absence of shared vision and sense of mission about students learning; a lack of commitment to mission realisation by staff and students; teachers are not empowered to manage the National Curriculum Statement (NCS); moral values are not instilled; teachers do not understand how students learn; and teachers are overburdened by administrative work which impacts negatively on their teaching. It is concluded that pedagogic leadership, from a systems thinking perspective, does not exist in the selected schools where the study was conducted. Although there is absence of shared vision, some schools are very active and perform well. The department of education is urgently required to address these issues as they form the basis of effective teaching and learning to improve students’ outcomes.