Instructional leadership roles in schools : the perspectives of subject advisors and teachers in the Umlazi District.
Vilakazi, Teressa Mbali.
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Teaching and learning is important in schooling and for schools to improve learner achievement they need to have rigorous instructional leadership. South African literature in particular is vocal on the issue of school principals as instructional leaders. Grobler (2013) posits that high learner achievement can be attained if school principals focus on instructional leadership. However, there is inadequate knowledge in South African literature on the issue of subject advisors as instructional leaders. The focus of the study was founded on the hypothesis that subject advisors were instructional leaders as it was the anticipation of the Department of Education policy. The study pursued to comprehend if the perspectives of subject advisors and teachers are in line with what is stipulated in the Department of Education Policy. The study is framed by the Instructional leadership theory of Weber’s (1996) model. The research design employed was a qualitative case study and the research instrument was semi-structured interviews with four subject advisors and four teachers per participating school in the Umlazi District. Two primary schools were selected in the Umlazi district. The findings of the study revealed that subject advisors develop teachers by do the following (a) Providing instructional leadership (b) Providing material and human resources (c) Developing teachers (d) Supporting teachers (e) Supervise/ Monitor teachers (f) Give feedback to the teachers (g) Communicate with the teachers. The study further painted the challenges subject advisors encounter when developing teachers and how they need to navigate those challenges. The study makes recommendations to the Department of education, subject advisors and teachers. Employment of staff both subject advisors and teachers is done by the Department of Education therefore the study recommends that the Department of Education employ sufficient staff (human resources) so that teachers and subject advisors will not be overloaded with work. It also recommends that the Department of Education need to provide sufficient material resources. The study also recommends that subject advisors need to provide support to the teachers at school level. It also recommends that teachers need to have open communication with the subject advisors and also to know their roles and accept the changes they bring. The study recommends that school management need to sit down with teachers so as to discuss teaching and learning and the challenges teachers encounter in their teaching.