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Educational Research for Social Change

versão On-line ISSN 2221-4070


NHLAPO, Veli. Enhancing the Management Performance of Departmental Heads in Primary and Secondary Schools: PAR as a Practice-Enhancing Process. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2021, vol.10, n.1, pp.83-101. ISSN 2221-4070.

The aim of this paper is to explain how participatory action research can be used to enhance the management competence of departmental heads (DHs) at primary and secondary schools. Research to improve the managerial performance of DHs tends to be steeped in a traditional mode of inquiry that merely highlights the challenges and makes recommendations in the hope that DHs will implement them. Teacher workshops aimed at improving their managerial capacity are often too theoretical and general, positioning teachers as passive recipients of knowledge rather than as active contributors. Departmental heads, like all teachers, should be viewed as professionals capable of overcoming their own challenges. In this study, engaging DHs in participatory action research allowed for the development of a participatory strategy to improve their performance as managers. The evidence presented here highlights the ontological and epistemological potency of participatory action research as a practice-enhancing process.

Palavras-chave : departmental heads; participatory action research; critical emancipatory paradigm; social justice.

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