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Research Articles (Education, Development, Leadership and Management)

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    The influence of the matric intervention programme on the professional identity of the local and lead teachers.
    (2018) Ngwenya, Xolani Osborne.; Bertram, Carol Anne.
    The KZN Department of Education‟s focus on improving the grade 12 (matric) results in the province has been the main priority in the past seven years. The Matric Intervention Programme (MIP) is one of the initiatives that the KZN Department of Education has implemented, targeted at schools who achieve less than 75% matric pass rate (T75 schools). Teachers referred to as Lead Teachers are those who are selected to assist T75 schools and Local Teachers are those who teach in T75 schools, and are assisted by the lead teachers. The assumption that teachers in the T75 schools lack content knowledge and that some are unqualified has led to the implementation of the MIP. Lead teachers are the drivers of the programme and assisted by local teachers. The main aim of the study was to explore to how the MIP influenced the professional identity of the local and lead teachers and how they experienced the programme. The study was conducted within the qualitative interpretative paradigm, and the case study approach was adopted. Three lead teachers and two local teachers were interviewed, and document analysis was used to collect data. Findings from the study indicated that local teachers, as teachers from poor performing schools, were dissatisfied by how the MIP and its lead teachers was introduced to them, that they were not recognised as teachers when lead teachers supposedly came to assist them. This affected their self-esteem and their image as teachers (professional identity). Furthermore, suggested that participants had a clear understanding of purpose of the MIP. Some of the lead teachers were working well with the local teachers, while others had neither relationship nor communication during the MIP process. Local teachers complained that they were not formally informed about the MIP programme and the visits from the lead teachers. The lead teachers fulfilled their roles with or without the presence and the assistance of the local teachers. The study also revealed that one local teacher was not entirely satisfied with the MIP processes. Her belief was that all the stakeholders should have been informed about the MIP prior to implementation. Lastly, the study recommended that there is a need for the MIP officials to formally address the local teachers about their roles in the programme.
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    The role of high school heads of department as leaders of learning.
    (2015) Mpisane, Bonga Basil.; Chikoko, Vitallis.
    Heads of Department (HODs) in some schools complain about teacher‟s absenteeism, late coming and the workload. Heads of Departments, being middle managers in schools, have a significant role to play in improving teaching and learning through supervision and control. Proper time- management is necessary in order for them to execute this duty effectively. Some scholars have declared that instructional leadership should be driven by HODs since they are play a key-role which determines whether teachers teach and learners effectively. However, HOD‟s experience challenges in their role. This study therefore, explored the role of high school HODs as leaders of learning. In their role- function as outlined by the Department of Education HODs supervise teaching and learning, ensuring that class activities are undertaken, marking done and feedback given on time. They conduct departmental meetings and assess teachers‟ performance. They also have their own teaching allocation as well as extra- and co- curricular activities. HODs therefore, would experience challenges in their role as leaders of learning. The study adopted a qualitative approach utilising a case study design. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants from two schools. Semi-structured interviews and document analysis were employed to generate data. The study reveals the following findings: (a) HODs encountered challenges in implementing the goals set because teacher absenteeism and late coming present a problem; (b) HODs experienced challenges in managing classwork and giving feedback because of the workloads that they themselves have; (c) Overcrowded classes become a problem when trying to give learners individual attention; (d) Holding meetings assists in empowering teachers as they share information and improve their communication skills and enhance their knowledge. The study recommended that HODs should closely supervise and monitor class activities and involve parents of learners. Parents should counter- sign exercise books of learner, since parents are one of the most important stake-holders in teaching and learning. HODs should create their own mechanisms and put structures in place to monitor as well as to curb absenteeism and late coming in their departments. They must develop a school policy to curb late coming and absenteeism and ensure that teaching time lost is made up. HODs must encourage teachers to attend workshops and provide constructive feedback in their staff meetings or subject meetings. Information from meetings may be issued in a written form. All efforts must be made by all stake- holders to ensure quality teaching and learning takes place.