What is Educational Management and School Leadership about?
Educational Management is both a field of academic study and a collective group of professionals that includes principals, teachers and other professionals in the field. Educational management, also sometimes known as educational administration, is commonly associated with primary and secondary schools as well as institutes of higher learning like colleges and universities. Educational management professionals can also be found working in governmental agencies, private companies, and not-for-profit organizations. Those working in educational management might act as policy-makers, researchers, or consultants to help evaluate and develop ways to enrich and enhance the educational system at all levels.
Most existing school management and education development programmes in South Africa, are workshops, short courses, or qualifications based on academic achievement with very little opportunity for practice and almost no on-site learning. The new School Manager’s qualification provides an opportunity for learners to acquire work-based learning and enhanced professionalism. Research was conducted to benchmark best practice and gather evidence of similar qualifications registered on the national qualifications frameworks and offered by accredited institutions in other countries to be considered during the development process.
The countries researched included Scotland, Australia, and the United States of America. The countries were selected due to the fact that their education and training programmes targeting school principals are based on clearly determined Standards for Principalship, an approach that is similar to South Africa which defines the leadership and management capabilities of school principals including the professional actions required of effective school principals as they are required to work within a broad range of accountabilities to achieve the goals and serve the needs and interests of schools, in general acknowledging the changing context in which they operate and taking into account the many challenges they face. (More on this later.)
- Lectures 13
- Quizzes 17
- Duration 50 hours
- Skill level NQF Level 6
- Language English
- Students 6
- Assessments Self
Introduction to the Course
The focus of the learning in this knowledge module is to build an understanding of the school operations acknowledging the changing context in which school principals operate, including the challenges facing schools in South Africa to effectively lead and manage the school thus creating conditions for optimal teaching and learning.
Chapter 1: Educational Leadership and Ways in Which the Educational Landscape is Changing
School leadership has become a priority in education policy agendas internationally. School leadership plays a crucial role in improving school performance by influencing the motivations and capacities of teachers, as well as the environment in which they work. School leadership is essential in improving the quality, efficiency and equity of schooling. It is the key because of the interaction of principals between classrooms, individual schools and the outside world.
Chapter 2: Legislation, policies and regulatory frameworks applicable in the school environment.
The work of school principals in South Africa is shaped by two significant sets of 'landscapes': the literature on leadership and management (discussed above) which provides particular constructions of the field and its changes; and the terrain of new policy frameworks adopted after apartheid to transform the education system. In terms of the former, the influence of international debates may be seen in South Africa, but these are situated adaptations rather than simple reflections. In terms of the latter, the new policies are underpinned by a tangled network of regulations on governance, labour relations and performance management which bring complexity to the task of running schools. Also, the enormous inequalities that continue to exist between schools in this country, means that the work of principals is very different; e.g. the work in a well resourced urban school compared to the work in an under resourced, rural school.
Chapter 3: Understanding the South African education goals and the dynamic context of the South African schools.
The aim of the Department of Basic Education is to develop, maintain and support a South African school education system for the 21st century. Their strategic outcome-orientated goal is to improve the quality of basic education. Output 1: Improve the quality of teaching and learning 1.1 Improve teacher capacity and practices. 1.2 Increase access to high-quality learning materials. Output 2: Undertake regular assessment to track progress 2.1 Establish a world-class system of standardised national assessments. 2.2 Extract key lessons from ongoing participation in international assessments. Output 3: Improve early childhood development 3.1 Universalise access to Grade R. 3.2 Improve the quality of early childhood development. Output 4: Ensure a credible outcomes focused planning and accountability system 4.1 Strengthen school management and promote functional schools. 4.2 Strengthen the capacity of district offices. These outputs will, in turn, contribute towards improving quality of life and building a peaceful, prosperous and democratic South Africa.
- Who’s who and What’s What in South Africa
- Quiz 3: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Alvin Toffler
- The development of a School Development Plan and School Improvement Plan processes
- Quiz 4: “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein
- Cast Study 3
Chapter 5: Safety, security and discipline in the school community environment
The National School Safety Framework is located within a range of international and national laws and policies that recognise the necessity of the safety of learners and educators as a prerequisite for quality learning at school. The section below outlines the international and national legislative and policy framework that guides the development and implementation of the National School Safety Framework. The International and Regional Policies have been discussed previously in this module as have the National Policies. For the purpose of clarity these policies will remain in this section, but without the detail provided earlier.
Chapter 6: Strategies for creating a positive learning culture, ethics, values, and their application in the school environment
School leaders need to have a good understanding of the socio-economic context of school and barriers to education such as HIV and AIDS and poverty. These are problems that the majority of South African learners face daily. If we want to provide a positive teaching and learning environment, we need to address these barriers to education in our schools – by, for example, strengthening the school nutrition programme, starting an Aftercare and giving counselling support.
- Strategies for Creating a Positive Learning Culture.
- “School is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside.” – Lon Watters
- Case Study 5
- Ethics, Values and their Application in the School Environment.
- Quiz 11: “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” ― C.S. Lewis.
- Case Study 6