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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


VAN DER VYVER, Corné (CP). The influence of biographical factors on care in school leadership. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2016, vol.56, n.1, pp.221-237. ISSN 2224-7912.

Experiencing of care in school leadership influences educators 'job satisfaction as well as their experience of the quality of work life. The principals' caring leadership can increase educators ' performance and effectiveness in the teaching and learning situation. This in turn increases the effectiveness of the school as an organisation. The absence of caring leadership in the school could firstly lead to a decrease in performance of educators. Secondly, it could lead to negative organisational relationships which could contribute to a negative school climate. It could thirdly contribute to lower levels of organisational (school) effectiveness and lastly to lower levels of commitment from educators. South African schools differ in terms of their cultural composition, race composition, gender composition as well as age and experience of educators and management in the school. These demographical aspects could potentially influence the school leaders' caregiving as well as educators ' experiences of care. The research was directed by the following question: What is the influence of biographical factors on the giving of care by school principals and experiencing thereof by educators? Care in school leadership entails the real interest of the school principal in the wellbeing of the educator, which manifests in empathy, sympathy and a commitment to the educator. Determinants of care in school leadership could be divided into three main categories, which include psychological determinants, workplace determinants and management determinants. The psychological determinants of care focus on educators ' experience of emotional care and include aspects such as emotional intelligence and demonstration of sympathy, empathy and interest in the educator as a person. Workplace determinants have to do with the physical working environment in which educators find themselves, which may include safety, security and resources. Management determinants address aspects such as communication, listening, empowerment, decision making and staff development. A quantitative research design in the form of a survey was used among a sample of principals and educators in the North-West Province. In total, 1 041 educators and 65 principals participated in the survey. Data were collected using the CSLQ (Caring school leadership Questionnaire). This is a standardised instrument with 59 items in a Likert scale format, which was specifically designed to measure the extent of care experienced by educators as well as the extent of care given by school principals. Data were analysed applying various statistical techniques, including descriptive and inferential statistics in the form of t-tests and ANNOVA's. The results showed that female principals, more experienced principals and principals with postgraduate qualifications rated themselves higher in the execution of their caring role towards educators than male principals, principals with less experience and principals having only a diploma. The results also showed that principals from previously disadvantaged groups rated themselves less caring than principals from previously advantaged groups. Principals in general saw themselves less caring towards educators from previously disadvantaged groups. From the results it emanated that educators younger than 30 years of age and educators with less than 5 years' teaching experience experienced more care from the principal than did older, more experienced educators. The results further showed that educators from previously disadvantaged groups experienced less care than educators from previously advantaged groups, specifically with regard to workplace determinants. Related to this, educators with principals from previously advantaged groups experienced more care than educators having principals from previously disadvantaged groups. Some of these results could be explained by and correlated with similar findings in the literature. There is, however, little explanation from literature regarding the role of race and cultural grouping with regard to both the giving and experiencing of care in school leadership. School leaders need more training in emotional intelligence and other aspects of psychological determinants of care. The department of Basic Education should take note of the negative impact of inadequate infrastructure and resources on the experience of care by educators from previously disadvantaged communities. The Department of Basic Education should honour its caring role toward schools in terms of providing adequate resources. Principals should be exposed to the development of emotional intelligence to address psychological aspects of care in a more understanding manner. This development should receive attention during formal professional training opportunities as well as in the personal development plan of school leaders.

Palavras-chave : School leadership; care; caring; caring leadership; caring relationships; community of care; determinants of care; leadership style; emotional intelligence; biographical; educators.

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