Dysfunctionality to functionality? Developing schools through an informally structured professional development programme EMASA CONFERENCE 11-13 March 2011Cape Peninsula University of TechnologyBellville Campus Visvaganthie Moodley (email@example.com) GeetaMotilal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DYSFUNCTIONAL SCHOOLS INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND Dysfunctional schools: schools continue to ‘exist’ but do not accomplish the purpose for which they were created (Gallie, 2006). Dysfunctional Functional
DYSFUNCTIONAL SCHOOLSGallie (2006) INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
Why ‘informal’? • Syndicate leader – leadership styles address the specific needs of their groups kinds of assignments & tasks were specific to the group • Not an accredited programme
Theories of Leadership and Teaching & Learning(that inform the ELP) • Hallinger & Murphy’s Model (1985) • Heneveld & Craig (1996) • Sammons et al (1995) (findings)
Revised Conceptual Framework teacher learner school principal other Attitude & Motivation Time on task Purposeful teaching High expectations Content knowledge Pedagogical knowledge Classroom management Creating literacy rich learning environment Professional development Attitude & Motivation Active participation Desire to achieve Time on task Literacy rich (esp. Reading & writing) Learning & teaching Professional leadership Attitude & motivation Vision for the school/ Shared goals Knowledge of educator staff Knowledge of learner population Partnership with community Visibility, monitoring, evaluation & feedback Mentoring strategies Working collaboratively Parent & community support Resources Conducive environment Facilities Co-curricular & Extracurricular activities
AIMS (i) To investigate the challenges that two school principals (one primary school and one high school principal in Gauteng) experience at their schools and the extent of progress made over 18 months, since the implementation of the programme (ii) To determine the effect that an informal, unaccredited programme has on school leadership development.
ARGUMENT Positive changes in school management and leadership which affect classroom teaching and learning practices can occur, in varying degrees, within an informally structured PDP.
METHODOLOGY & DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURES: • Qualitative paradigm • Case study approach DATA: • School profile information sheet (provided in questionnaire format) • Participants’ portfolio of work (an essential component of the programme) • individual interviews
FINDINGS: MAJOR CHALLENGES SCHOOL P (PRIMARY SCHOOL) (1640 learners & 43 educators) SCHOOL S(SECONDARY SCHOOL) (875 learners & 27 educators) Socio economic problems Learner attitude & motivation Educator attitude & motivation Educator subject expertise Time on task Teacher absenteeism Self perception of ineffective leadership qualities Monitoring of curriculum delivery Professional development Conflict with SGB Educator subject expertise Educator attitude & motivation Text book use & management Accountability Overcrowding (48 - 55 per class) Time on task Numeracy foundations for learning Literacy foundations for learning Assessment Focused monitoring Professional development Conflict with unions
FINDINGS: SCHOOL P EVIDENCE OF POOR PERFORMANCE: Foundations for learning Language scores: Pass – 50% GRADE
FINDINGS: SCHOOL P EVIDENCE OF POOR PERFORMANCE: Foundations for learning Maths scores: Pass – 50%
SCHOOL P: ACTION • Focused monitoring: Time on task • Text book use & management • Professional development
FINDINGS: SCHOOL Pfocused monitoring: time on task ‘... before I never calculated the wasted minutes. I’d just scold and say “we are wasting time” and all that. But when you just highlighted what about the 15mins you waste in the morning before you er start school, what about the minutes after break when learners must go to the classroom’ … the (programme) ‘really raised the bar’ then I went back to school … we (the deputy principal & speaker) took our pens to the assembly and we just monitored about 5 teachers. Ok. ... we recorded the time learners took to move from the assembly to the classroom and then we looked at the teachers. Teachers were busy talking to others and we counted the minutes, then we saw one teacher having a page walking towards the admin office, and saw she wanted to make copies for that period. Then we saw her with a stack of papers walking towards her class to teach. The period was 40 mins long and now she was left with 15 minutes to teach. ...’
FINDINGS: SCHOOL PText Book Use & Management • ‘... we were so scared to give the learners the books, we used to give them in class but not to let them take them home’ ... ; • ‘Because when a child has lost a book, the parent would say “I’m not employed”, “I’ve got no money”. But after (you emphasised) “How will a learner learn to read if they don’t have a book to read” and this thing about writing notes on the chalkboard when it is in the book it’s a waste of time. So we (the staff) decided that we call a meeting with the parents and they must sign for the text books to look after them. ...’ • ‘So now more work is covered in the 40 minutes’ ... and the learners, they are doing more homework. Ja, they are writing more... and the spelling of words, they copy the correct spelling now’. • ‘And we teaching them (the learners) to respect and love their books and look after them.’
Teacher absenteeism • Monitoring of i) educator’s attendance and ii) going to class in time. • drew up a monitoring tool in the form of a register where each educator had to sign in and out. • At the end of the week he summed up the data • defaulters were called to account for their attendance. • Monitored teachers time in class Results: The monitoring tools had an immediate impact whereby educators’ attendance improved dramatically.
Monitoring of Curriculum delivery • Principal B began effective monitoring of the curriculum by indicating in his interview that “I started analyzing data/test results… I learnt that through these results you can determine curriculum performance… I then had term meetings –we discussed where we are, how we were performing and how to improve the performance…” • Some of the solutions were “to encourage those underperforming educators to develop themselves”, to “discuss with learners and to give learners incentives…” Results: Results have improved from the first term to the second term.
Professional development • Monitoring and mentoring of educators by HODs • Induction of new educators • HODs and Subject advisors to demonstrate lessons to educators • Educators were encouraged to consult HODs when they have problems and avoid waiting until it is too late • The IDSO to monitor and mentor principals • Networking • Ongoing collaboration with feeder schools so that primary schools and high school have a good understanding of each level and its requirements. • The ELS group to meet every term to discuss challenges and progress made thus far Results: much more collaboration, sharing of ideas, attitude change and overall improvement
Conclusions • Principal characteristics: Positive attitudes High expectations of self & school as a whole Takes ownership of school Presence is felt in school Shares in the responsibility for learner performance Collaborates with staff & community towards benefit of learners Unafraid to approach teachers on a one to one Draws on stronger teachers to act as mentors to those who need development Offers professional & academic leadership
Conclusions • That a professional development programme need not be accredited to achieve its aims • That positive changes can be made to dys- & semi-functional schools, depending on the attitude and motivation, and other qualities (mentioned above) of the principal & staff