Exploring the practices of leadership in the United Church of Christ Mission Schools in Zimbabwe : a historical case study.
Hlatywayo, Jairos Sukutai.
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The study explored the practices of leadership enacted by the School Management Teams in the United Church of Christ Mission Schools in Zimbabwe during the period 1995-2010. The research discussed the responses made by the SMTs in regard to the contextual demands in the UCCZ mission schools and identified the factors that enhance or hinder the practices of leadership in the teaching and learning process. The findings revealed that the critical problem of teacher brain drain within the UCCZ Mission Schools weakened the capacity for teachers and the SMTs to produce good results across the respective schools. The problem emanated due to the harsh socio-economic and unstable political climate in Zimbabwe which forced the qualified teachers to leave the country and seek employment in the neighbouring countries and abroad for better salaries and work conditions. The findings showed that teacher brain drain contributes a major constrain to the education sector and resulted in low pass rate and reduced the quality of education in various schools in Zimbabwe. The research is aligned in the field of educational leadership and informed by the theories of distributed leadership, transformational leadership, and context-responsive leadership. Leadership should be viewed as a shared process which involves working with all stakeholders in a collegial and creative way to seek out the untapped leadership potential of people and develop this potential in a supportive environment for the betterment of the school. The study used qualitative approach which assumes that human behaviour can be influenced significantly by the context in which it occurs. Methods of data collection used include interviews, observations, journal entries and document analysis. Participants involved were four School Heads, four Heads of Department and two School Chaplains within the four selected case study schools in the United Church of Christ Mission Schools in Zimbabwe.