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Ideology and its influence on educational leadership, structure and process : with reference to a dominant and dominated ideologies in South Africa.

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This study examines the concept of ideology and then surveys the relationship between ideology and education. Particular forces that help to shape ideologies which affect education are indicated. The focus then moves to an investigation of the influence of ideology on visible elements of the educational system: leadership, structure and process. It is contended that ideology as a world-view, based on prescriptive group beliefs and assumptions which are rationalized in terms of ontology, axiology and epistemology, is translated into action within social apparatuses, such as schools. It is argued that ideology does have a disguising motive in that through its slogans and rhetoric it attempts a justification of itself. In essence it deals with issues of power and control. These contentions are examined through a detailed analysis of the concept and function of ideology to determine its locus of inference and definition to be used in this work. Ideology is then considered from the perspective of its relationship with education. The concept of leadership and concepts of organizational models, such as bureaucracy, are examined in general terms and then in relation to ideology, with the major focus on the influence of ideology on educational leadership, structure and process. These elements are shown to be important and visible reflections of an ideology in action. There is shown to be a strong degree of congruence between theoretical ideology and ideology in action. From an international survey, the focus of the study moves to South Africa. The historical milieu which has helped to create the ideology of Afrikaner Nationalism, based on twin pillars of domination and segregation, is reviewed before this 'dominant' ideology is analysed in relation to education and the visible elements of educational leadership, structure and process. It is contended that this complex ideology has been associated with issues of power and control and has caused widespread harm through its translation of belief into action in terms of social engineering. Its ontology, axiology and epistemology are questioned. In contrast, a liberal-humanistic type of ideology is analysed in action in white English medium schools. It is shown how this 'dominated' ideology has withstood Afrikaner hegemony in many essentials. Although it is postulated that in South African black education, no institutionalized ideology can be investigated, a theoretical or aspiring ideology which has considerable black support, that of People's Education, is reviewed. Finally, it is contended that ideologies need to be analysed and differences in beliefs and assumptions, even the use of slogans, to be acknowledged before negotiations can produce any acceptable synthesis for South African education. It is argued that new styles of leadership, new structures and new processes are needed before the State President's 'democratic goal' can even begin to be realised. Directions for a future educational system are stated.


Thesis (Ph.D.) - University of Natal, 1992.


Ideology., Education--South Africa., Education--South Africa--Philosophy., Education--Political aspects--South Africa., Education and state--South Africa., People's Education--South Africa., Theses--Education.