Working Between The Folds: School Leaders’ Reimagining School Life


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: Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
BISAC: EDU032000

The publication arises out of a research project of school education within South Africa and takes a school leadership perspective for imaginative possibilities resulting in school change. It illuminates the complexities associated with leading schools as they assume particular identities owing to specific categorizations. Its specific focus is on school leaders’ lived experiences of addressing school challenges that brought about substantive change to school life.

The book chapters collectively build on personally, professionally, and socially useful understandings of teaching, learning, governance, school finance and school-community partnerships in relation to wider social, political and cultural concerns, and across diverse contexts. Drawing on everyday real-life experiences, generated mainly through a range of narrative and arts-based practices and sources, the book communicates new voices, new insights, and imaginative possibilities for working with school challenges in contextually relevant and responsive attitudes to bring quality education to the doors of schools. The book, therefore, foregrounds school leaders from school principals through to teacher leaders’ imaginative solutions to reimagining school life in each of their respective schools.

Using a multi-perspectival theoretical lens, we offer portrayals of different dimensions of lived experiences of school life. The authors of the chapters (comprising both experienced and novice researchers) present critical descriptive accounts of different contextual realities of schooling juxtaposed against how they are categorized, for example: infrastructure (quintile rankings); financial (fee paying); geography (rural, urban, townships); poverty (feeding scheme) and performance.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Quality Education and School Experience in South Africa: How Far Have We Come?
(Labby Ramrathan, Inbanathan Naicker, Daisy Pillay –

Chapter 2. Successful Rural Schools: Learning from School Principals’ Leadership Practices
(Inbanathan Naicker, Zamokwakhe Thandinkosi Ncokwana –

Chapter 3. Changing School Images: How Quintile One School Principals Turn Around Learner Performance in Their Schools within a Rural Context
(Sihle Mamela, Labby Ramrathan –

Chapter 4. Reimaging Schools for Improved Learner Performance
(Sylvan Blignaut – Nelson Mandela University, South Africa)

Chapter 5. Responding to School Violence: Accounts of Heads of Departments towards Safe Schools
(Michael Ngobese and Labby Ramrathan – University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)

Chapter 6. Making Visible Teacher Leadership Practices in Private and Public Schools
(Inbanathan Naicker and Erin Rae Ballard – School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa)

Chapter 7. It’s Just Not about the Funding … : Artful Research Learning for Cultivating Creative, Reflexive, Ethical Ways of Thinking about Schooling, Quintile[ing] and Teachers’ Lives
(Daisy Pillay – School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa)

Chapter 8. The Entrepreneurial Leadership Role of Principals: Doing More with Less Financial Resources
(Raj Mestry – University of Johannesburg, South Africa)

Chapter 9. The Conundrum of School Governance: Alternate Ways through the Maze
(Mgadla Ike Xaba – North-West University, South Africa)

Chapter 10. “Crush the Chalk”: School Leader’s Co-Creative Networking for Enhancing Schooling, Relations and Life
(Daisy Pillay and Nonhlanhla Dube – School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa)

About the Authors


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