An assessment of the role of leadership practices in successful high schools in Windhoek.
Silume, Morgan Simataa
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The researcher in this study assesses the leadership practices of headteachers in successful secondary schools in Windhoek, specifically as it is compared to the annual performance of grade10 learners at the participating schools. The researcher reveals the relationship between the leadership practices of principals and their ability to be transformational, distributed and instructional in their leadership behaviors. The researcher further explores the characteristics of effective and successful schools and their significant impact on the performance of grade 10 learners over three years (2010-2012). The participants of the study are one hundred and forty-three (143) senior secondary school teachers drawn from ten successful high schools in Windhoek. SPSS and QCA are used to analyze data gathered for this academic endeavour. The study confirms that the leadership behaviours of principals in successful Windhoek high schools are compatible with transformational leadership, distributed leadership and instructional leadership theories. Some demographic variables are also studied to determine the impact participants’ differences in gender, their professional qualifications and the school to which they belonged, had on the results of the study. The relationship between the principals’ years of professional experience and gender do not account for a significant correlation with the leadership practices principals in the study at hand exercise at their schools. Neither the gender nor the professional experience of principals is considered significant in this study. However, the principals should have been part of the school during the specific years to which the study pays particular attention. The research recommends that the Education Ministry and boards should establish and implement programmes that help to foster transformational, distributed and instructional leadership skills among school principals. Programmes such as seminars, workshops and updates on school administration would be of great help. The study also confirms that the participating schools in this research are ‘effective schools’ as their characteristics proved significant correlations with the characteristics of effective schools enshrined in the literature review of this study. The study recommends that principals should be leading professionals focused only on achievement. The performance of schools under their leadership should always be evaluated and activities efficiently organised with clear and fair disciplinary procedures. Windhoek secondary school principals of underperforming schools are encouraged to utilise transformational, distributed and instructional leadership practices as effective models for ensuring cooperation and constructive partnership, characterised by openness, trust and professionalism. Finally, the study also endorses that the Ministry of Education should integrate leadership practices of principals and the characteristics of effective high schools with activities of continuous assessment and evaluation of their performance.
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