Collegial Model

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South African Journal of Education Copyright © 2005 EASA Vol 25(1) 11–18

Use of the Collegial Leadership Model of Emancipation to transform traditional management practices in secondary schools P. Singh
De partm ent of P ostgra duate S tudies & Edu cational R esearch , Nelso n M ande la Me tropolitan U niversity, P O Bo x 77 000 , Port Elizabeth, 6031 South Africa prakash.singh@nm mu.ac.za The Collegial Leadership Mo del of Emanc ipation (COLME) is used to address the concerns of transforming traditional management practices (T M Ps ) in seco nd ary scho ols . T his m od el is ba sed p rim arily on the princ iple s o f co llaboration a nd p articip ation that fa cilitate collegial leadership practices to flourish in an environment characterized by shared decision-making, shared values, shared vision, and shared leadership. Inevitably, this process impacts on all stakeholders. The positive effect that collegiality has on the improvement of learning and improved teach er pa rticipa tion a nd c om m itm ent s ugg ests that the effectiveness of a sch oo l ne ed no t be syn on ym ou s w ith privile ge no r sh ou ld inefficiency be synonymous w ith the disadvantaged comm unity. For the positive effects to be sustained, the collegial practices need to be evolutionary and em ancipatory in order to evoke the values of collegial leadership set out in this article. Research condu cted at ten secondary scho ols stron gly su ppo rted th e prin ciples esp ous ed in the C OL M E. It w as ev iden t from the in terview s tha t the ex-mo del-C schoo ls were better equipped and had appropriately qualified personnel to incorporate elements of the COLME . This was not the case with all the his tor ica lly disadvantaged secondary schools (HDS S). How ever, all the re spo nde nts a gree d tha t collegia lity was a ke y com pon ent in transforming tra dition al m an ag em en t pr actice s in ou r sc ho ols . T he COLM E p rovid es a suitab le fra m ew ork to achie ve this n ote wo rth y go al.

Introduction The traditional emphasis on bureaucracy is being challenged by a normative preference for collegiality in many parts of the world, including South Africa (Manz & Sims, 2001; Kouzes & Posner, 1997; Bush, 2003:70). Traditional management implies that the "ideal organization is orderly and stable, that the organizational process can and should be engineered so that things run like clockwork" (Kouzes & Posner, 1997:15). Collegiality, on the other hand, is a collaborative process that entails the devolution of power to teachers and other stakeholders in order for them to become an integral part of the leadership processes of the school that are guided by that school's shared vision (Sergiovanni, 1991:26). Collegiality is therefore considered as a process of assimilation that involves encouraging personal visions to become part of a shared vision built on synergy (Singh & Manser, 2002:57). This process is possible because collegial strategies tend to be more lateral or horizontal rather than being vertical and hierarchical, reflecting the view that all stakeholders should be involved in decision-making and "own" the outcome of discussions (Bush, 2003:70). As pointed out by Kouzes and Posner (1997:12), leaders "know that no one does his or her best when feeling weak, incompetent, or alienated; they know that those who are expected to produce the results must feel a sense of ownership". Leadership, according to Kouzes and Posner (1997:30), is the "art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations." They state that "people in positions of authority can get other people to do something because of the power they wield, but leaders mobilize others to want to act because of the credibility they have". Collegial leadership therefore focuses on the stakeholders' capacity to play a participatory role in the leadership of the school (Lofthouse, 1994; Senge, 1990; Singh & Manser, 2002). Under these circumstances, collegial leadership...
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