South African Journal of Education
On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100
GRANT, Callie et al. Teacher leadership: a survey analysis of KwaZulu-Natal teachers' perceptions. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2010, vol.30, n.3. ISSN 2076-3433.
The notion of teacher leadership is implicit in official documentation in the South African education system post 1994, which emphasises a move towards a more shared and participatory approach to the practice of leadership and management in schools. The concept of teacher leadership is embedded in a distributed leadership theoretical framing which emphasises that leadership need not be located only in the position of the principal but can be stretched over a range of people who work at different levels in a school. We report on a study in which the perceptions of teachers' on their understanding and experiences of teacher leadership were explored. The study adopted a survey approach and utilised closed questionnaires to gather data from 1,055 post level-one teachers across a range of schools of diverse contexts in KwaZulu-Natal. We found that while teachers supported the notion of shared leadership and believed they were equipped to lead, their leadership was largely restricted to their classrooms. There was some evidence of teacher leadership amongst teacher colleagues in certain curricular and extra-curricular activities. However, teacher leadership in relation to school-wide and community issues was almost non-existent. We signal two problematics regarding the leadership of school teachers and consider the implication of these for the distribution of leadership, and therefore change, in schools.
Keywords : distributed leadership; education leadership; power; school management teams; teacher leadership; teachers.