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Principals' perceptions of the role of teacher unions in the effective management of schools in the Ndwedwe and Maphumalo circuits, KwaZulu-Natal.

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A number of school - based conflicts which tend to impact negatively on the entire running of schools, are reported each academic year to the Department of Education (DoE) officials by concerned role players. The said conflicts have resulted in a continuous and destructive tug - of - war between some principals and teacher union members, thus causing school principals unable to perform their core functions to the maximum. Worse scenarios have seen a number of learners drawn in causing mayhem and complete ineffectiveness to some schools. Firstly, the intention of the entire research project was to provide a survey approach which will focus on the principals' perceptions of the role of teacher unions in school management. Secondly, this study sought to address how school principals perceive their own management roles in unionized school environments. Thirdly, the study further sought to look at the strategies that can be employed to assist and benefit school principals who encounter problems in their highly unionized school environments so that the running of their schools can be effective and efficient. Lastly, it sought to address the perceptions of teacher union members with regard to their own role in school management and how they can contribute meaningfully in order to promote the culture of learning and teaching ( COLT) in schools. A survey design, in which qualitative methodology was engaged to collect and analyze data, was utilized in the study. Responses were elicited by means of administering questionnaires to selected principals and personal semi-structured interviews to some union members. The document analysis was the third method that was used in order to enhance the credibility of the study. Responses in the questionnaires revealed that while some principals in this study recognize the existence and the role of teacher union members in their schools, there are those principals who are not comfortable with the teacher union involvement in their school management. Emanating from data gathered through the personal semi - structured interviews, teacher union members firmly believe they are deprived by principals from making their meaningful input that would assist in the effective running of schools. Such relationships suggest a lack of mutual trust between school principals and teacher union members in the areas of study.


Thesis (M.Ed.) - University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2004.


School management and organization--KwaZulu-Natal., Teachers' unions--KwaZulu-Natal., Theses--Education.