Through the Eyes of School Leaders: A Discussion of the Outcomes of a Leadership Development Training Programme


Citizen Leader Lab, a non-profit organisation, facilitates the Partners for Possibility (PfP) programme that provides leadership development and support to school leaders serving under-resourced communities in South Africa to ensure effective environments of learning. This is done by creating partnerships (dyads) between principals and private-sector business leaders over a 12-month period. This article describes principals’ perceptions of their leadership capacities and changes at their schools after being exposed to a year-long leadership development training programme. A descriptive mixed-method study was conducted with 131 school leaders who had participated in the year-long leadership training and were exposed to workshops, group coaching, peer learning and experiential learning. Participants completed a post-programme questionnaire consisting of structured and unstructured questions. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with them and their business leaders. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using analytic software. Principals found the programme interesting and rewarding. They gained new leadership capacities such as resilience, improved confidence, communication and conflict resolution skills - catalysing into improved cultures of collaborative decision-making and environments for enhanced teaching and learning. New networks resulted in tangible outcomes (upgrades to school infrastructure, water and sanitation, nutrition) and/or intangible outcomes such as skills for members of school management teams (SMTs). Collaborative leadership led to SMTs being more aligned, efficient, and cohesive; teachers being more engaged and motivated; and parents being more involved in the schools and in their children’s education. The PfP programme has the potential to lead to improved teaching and learning and new resources for schools.

Author Information
Norma Kok, Citizen Leader Lab, South Africa
Diemo Masuko, Citizen Leader Lab, South Africa
Thandokazi Dlongwana, Citizen Leader Lab, South Africa

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2022
Stream: Educational policy

This paper is part of the ACE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Kok N., Masuko D., & Dlongwana T. (2023) Through the Eyes of School Leaders: A Discussion of the Outcomes of a Leadership Development Training Programme ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2022: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon