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ESTABLISHING MENTORING NETWORKS FOR PRINCIPALS. STUDY OF A MENTORING NETWORK MODEL IN THE LAVENDER HILL-STEENBERG-RETREAT AREA, CAPE TOWN. Introduction.

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establishing mentoring networks for principals
ESTABLISHING MENTORING NETWORKS FOR PRINCIPALS

STUDY OF A MENTORING NETWORK MODEL IN THE LAVENDER HILL-STEENBERG-RETREAT AREA, CAPE TOWN

introduction
Introduction
  • To understand - from an **IMG Manager’s perspective - how MENTORING NETWORKS FOR PRINCIPALS of poor community schools can be established to help them:
  • develop their leadership capacity
  • Provide a context-based support network
  • (**IMG MANAGER = DISTRICT OFFICIAL / CIRCUIT MANAGER)
introduction context
Introduction: Context
  • Two key contexts that Principals operate in:
  • Education Systems Reform Context
  • Socio-economic context
education reform context in sa 1
Education Reform Context in SA 1

School Principals subjected to High

Performance expectations and a High

Accountability Environment.

  • Reform Interventions promulgated in:

Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Act, 2010:

  • Section 3(e) (iv) : education shall enhance the quality of education through monitoring and evaluating delivery and performance and through training educators and education managers.
  • Section12B: Identification of underperforming public schools.
  • Section 13A: Functions and responsibilities of principal of public school.
education reform context 2
Education Reform Context 2
  • “monitoring and evaluating delivery and performance”
  • High stakes diagnostic testing: Provincial systemic and Annual national assessment(ANA)
  • Curriculum Changes: CAPS
current principal training programmes in south africa 1
Current Principal Training programmes in South Africa 1
  • Professional development programmes offered at universities, by Education department via Districts, NGO’s, Teacher Unions, SAPA.
  • Course content: mainly theoretical
  • Limited Networking opportunities; they are ad hoc in nature.
current principal training programmes in south africa with mentoring component
Current Principal Training programmes in South Africa with Mentoring Component
  • Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE): Education Management and Leadership Development: Entry level qualification for aspiring principals but also offered to current principals.
  • STRENGTHS: Networking and Mentoring are 2 development processes of the course.
  • LIMITATION: ‘Group’ mentoring and networking sessions used for content and not as a reflective-based sessions on leadership practices at the school (Bush, T. External Evaluation Research Report of the ACE: School leadership and Management)
  • The Coaching and Mentoring of Principals Pilot-Kwazulu Natal ((Report by J&J Development Projects Trust, 2009)
  • Practice-based model of mentoring and coaching:
training for principals the role of the district official and district office
Training for Principals: the role of the District Official and District Office?
  • No broad-based mentoring networking programme offered for principals by districts.
  • School district officials as a resource to provide mentoring for principals, is not advocated nor utilised fully.
key question
KEY QUESTION:
  • How can an IMG Manager - as the Line Manager of the principal -help to establish structured, sustainable mentoring networks for principals who work in extremely challenging socio-economic contexts ?
background of study
BACKGROUND OF STUDY:
  • Study conducted in the Lavender Hill-Steenberg-Retreat area on Cape Flats.
  • Three primary schools with female principals.
profile of school performance of the study area in wced systemic testing cycles 2006 2009
Profile of School Performance of the Study Area in WCED Systemic Testing Cycles 2006-2009

Pressure areas

LITERACY

NUMERACY

50%-National Benchmark for literacy and Numeracy

profile of study area lavender hill steenberg retreat area
PROFILE OF STUDY AREA:Lavender Hill-Steenberg-Retreat Area

Sources: Census 2001 and Report: Crime in Cape Town 2001 -2008, Janet Gie

profile of study area
PROFILE OF STUDY AREA

SUMMARY OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT

Extreme Poverty, gangsterism, high crime rate, Unemployment, apathy towards schools=lethal combination

mentoring network intervention model 1
Mentoring Network Intervention Model 1
  • Collection of data via minutes, conversations, e-mails, feedback reports and short survey
  • Participants in Mentoring Network:
  • 3 Female Primary School Principals
  • IMG Manager/School District Official
mentoring network model 2
Mentoring Network Model 2:

Function of IMG Manager/School District Official:

  • Link/facilitator which should devolve to group when the IMG extracts herself from the group.
  • Filled role as ‘Head’ Mentor
  • Logistical role: Arranged off-site meeting venues, minute-taking, chairperson of sessions.
mentoring network model 3 structural elements
Mentoring Network Model 3: Structural elements
  • Contract and Goals
  • Communication Protocols
  • Professional Reading component
contract and goal setting
Contract and Goal-setting
  • Verbal contractual agreement for the year
  • Corporate Goals sourced from the participants’ Professional Growth Plans (PGPs). Improvement in:
communication
Communication
  • Quarterly 2- hour Reflection Meetings with IMG Manager at off-site venues. Standard Agenda items: Sharing highlights and lowlights of term related to goals + target setting for next phase.
  • Monthly E-mail or telephone contact between schools
  • 1x Inter-school visitations by participants

Meeting at the Spur Restaurant

Clockwise: Lameez, Cassy and Lavinia

professional reading menu
Professional Reading menu

The three principals: Lameez, Cassy and Lavinia ready to discuss Peter Senge’s Learning organisation

findings 1

Findings 1

Findings 1

“I like the idea of us all being women ‘cause we can identify with each other and be open”. Cassy

  • Good match of participants
  • uniformity of gender: “ sharing common concerns and HOW issues can be solved”
  • All primary school principals
  • Similar leadership perspectives
findings
Increased Collegiality with time

.”Building trust was very important. Being open, willing to share personal gaps /weaknesses and strengths without feeling threatened”

“breaking down the fences and making the paradigm shift

re unspoken competition that exist between schools”

Findings 1

Findings

Role of IMG Manager

  • “I would have loved this kind of support from the District when I started out as a principal” (Retreat principal, 10yrs experience)
  • Comfortable with IMG and able to speak our minds at all times; having the freedom to agree to disagree”.
findings 2
Findings 2

On Target with 2 Goals: Sharing + Reflecting on…

Lavender Hill school Grade 3 learners using the interactive whiteboard

  • Curriculum Management Teaching and learning strategies quality assurance processes, professional development of educators, ICT lessons, class visits, co-curricular activities
  • Financial Management: policy issues; fundraising ideas, school fees recovery, fiscal disciplinary measures , sharing sponsor contacts.
findings 3
Findings 3

Lameez reflecting on “mental models” and writing down another good strategy

Goals not discussed:

Learner discipline

Reading: not achieved. Only article read and discussed by group: The Learning Organisation: Peter Senge

New Discussion Component:

Personnel issues / Human Resource Management became a dominant discussion point in all meetings

challenges 1
Challenges 1
  • Sustaining Structured mentoring networking is Time-consuming : after school hours meetings of 2 hours
  • IMG Manager’s role as mentor : demanding
  • Requires skill, knowledge and attributes of mentor.
  • Core work cannot be compromised.
  • Leadership perspectives: patriarchal vs transformational?
  • Understanding role of IMG Manager: policy implementer and Developer: keeping the balance

IMG Manager: To be a mentor or not to be – There is only 1 answer!

challenges 2
Challenges 2
  • Role of District: Support Agenda to be driven by developmental role ; balance the scales
  • Lack of Training of Officials as Mentors
  • Replication of Mentoring network on a large scale: small scale clustering requires heavy investment of time and energy to ensure sustainability.
  • However, as the interactive capacity of principals grows, networking could grow exponentially as well.
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Mentoring and Networking are key development processes that should be advocated by Education Districts.
  • Mentoring should be institutionalised as a layer to strengthen collaborative learning/networking. Key to to create critical mass and impact. (Recommendations in Reports on ACE and the Kwazulu-Natal Mentoring and Coaching Pilot report)
  • Mentorship training for district officials is critical.
  • Factor in time for mentoring and networking for Principals during school hours.
  • “The Department of education has the policy of responsibility for all matters relating to Education, including teacher education. In the context of a developmental state, the Department of Education is required to promote transformation through education”
  • ( Section 63: 21 from National Policy Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa)
conclusion
Conclusion
  • “Peer culture must become the drive”( Michael Fullan)

“Government needs a strategy in order to enable knowledge transfer laterally within the education system. Instead of continuing to act as a hub through which all new policies are routed, the education department must enable innovative networks to develop” (Hargreaves, 2001. Personalised learning: The next steps in working laterally)

Clockwise: Lameez, Cassy, Lavinia, Sharon at one of the meetings at the Spur restaurant, Tokai, Cape Town

vote of thanks
Vote of Thanks

Collaborative learning

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING

Sharon Lewin

IMG Manager

Metro South Education District

Western Cape Education Department

acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Director of Metro South Education District: Eugene Daniels
  • Two of my mentors:
  • Professor Jonathan Jansen
  • Annette Fella
  • MSED, Circuit 1
  • The following schools and principals:
  • Steenberg Primary School: Cassy Dick
  • Square Hill Primary School: Lavinia Davis
  • Prince George Primary School: LameezRabbaney