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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

SWANEPOEL, Cassie. A comparison between the views of teachers in South Africa and six other countries on involvement in school change. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.4, pp. 461-474. ISSN 0256-0100.

Worldwide, and especially in South Africa, change and decentralised decision-making have been topical issues in the provision of education for the past years. It appears that teachers - the key agents in implementing the policies concerned - are largely ignored in the pre-implementation phases, and treated merely as implementers of these policies. The results from an empirical investigation revealed that the teachers in the South African sample expressed an exceptional degree of eagerness to be involved in decision-making and responsibility-taking concerning school change, even in aspects of management that could be considered as the principal's 'turf'. Although the views of a group of teachers in six other countries showed very similar result patterns, the sample of South African teachers was considerably more eager to be involved in initiatives of school change and related responsibilities than the teachers in the samples of the other countries. The results are illuminating, taking into consideration the increased workload of teachers, as well as certain other factors. Possible explanations for these observations are discussed.

Keywords : decentralised decision-making; educational change; school-based management; school reform; teacher involvement.

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