Special Issue: Leading schools in contexts of multiple deprivation in South Africa

Guest editors: Felix Maringe and Relebohile Moletsane

From Educational Management Administration & Leadership

As discussed in this special issue, many schools in South Africa tend to experience multiple forms of deprivation. The state, civil society, communities and individuals have responded by implementing a variety of interventions to mitigate the effects of these forms of deprivation. The articles indicate that research on schooling and school leadership in the context of multiple deprivation is gathering momentum. Such research contributes to our understanding of the features of these schools and their implications for effective leadership and management. However, this scholarship tends to be dominated by work that focuses on the challenges these schools face and the ways in which school management and leadership struggle to address them. What we know little about is how and why some schools in similar contexts manage to produce effective teaching and learning. In particular, what is the role of school leadership and management at such schools? What enables them to succeed against the odds?



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Leading schools in circumstances of multiple deprivation in South Africa: Mapping some conceptual, contextual and research dimensions
Educational Management Administration & Leadership May 2015 43: 347-362, first published on April 8, 2015 doi:10.1177/1741143215575533


The paper suggests that multiple deprivation is a concept as yet lacking in substantial theoretical analysis and that its application as a research framing tool in education is relatively recent. As a concept, multiple deprivation suggests a confluence of factors which depress learning and place unique challenges on leadership and which act in combination rather than in isolation. Given that more than three quarters of schools in South Africa are officially described as dysfunctional and that many of these schools serve communities facing multiple deprivation, the article calls for a new theoretical approach which focuses on how best schools in these circumstances can best be led. Based on extant evidence in the field, the paper identifies generative leadership practices upon which a new theory of leadership for these contexts could be constructed. Specifically, it suggests that a cocktail of leadership forms which include transformational, distributed, instructional, ethical and asset based leadership could offer the most promise for schools faced with multiple deprivation. The paper also provides an overview of the articles selected for this special edition.









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