Cultivating democratic citizenship education in schools :implications for educational leaders

Galloway, Greta Marie Mandy (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2007-12)

Dissertation (PhD)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

On t.p.: Doctor of Philosophy in Education Policy Studies.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this dissertation I critically explore educational leadership and management practices in relation to how current school principals lead and manage schools in a democratic society. The aim of this study is to explore to what extent school leaders and managers are transformative in their approach to deepening democracy in schools. In order to contextualise my understanding, I choose to tell my story. Therefore, I give a narrative account of my personal career experience as a teacher, and specifically as a school principal. I argue that educational leaders and managers continue to think and act according to traditional notions of leading and managing school practices. I contend that educational leadership and management practices ought to change in order for schools to transform into institutions implementing democratic practices in a more thoroughgoing way. I argue that current understandings of leadership and management in schools seem to be embedded in positivist tendencies that undermine transformative practices in schools and that positivist leadership and management engender thin forms of democratic school practices. I show how positivist theories of educational leadership and management connect with indefensible forms of leading and managing, namely skewed authority, gender discrimination and exclusion of cultural diversity. I contend that school leadership and management practices ought to be reconceptualised in relation to a framework of democratic citizenship education. Cultivating democratic citizenship education with reference to the seminal thoughts of Jürgen Habermas, Seyla Benhabib and Iris Marion Young will hopefully strengthen my argument for social justice, renewal and redress in school practices. These theorists have shaped the thinking and actions of educational leaders and managers to provide a critical understanding of transformative educational leadership and management practices in schools. Such ideas conceptualise a critical understanding of deliberative leadership and management practices as constructs for deepening democracy in schools. It is within this context that the dissertation explores a pathway towards deepening democracy in schools through a deliberative leadership and management approach. Such an approach has the potential to cultivate communicative democratic moments in educational leadership and management practices through engaging the voices of “others”. For deliberative leadership and management practice to manifest itself, I propose that conditions ought to be established whereby the democratic rights of “others” as incorporated voices in classroom pedagogy, school management and school governance engender deeper citizenship through the inclusion of these “other” previously marginalised voices. By embracing the voices of “others”, the potential is created to move towards deepening democratic leadership and management practices which can possibly engender “schools of hope” for the future. Keywords: Educational leadership, educational management, positivist, critical, citizenship, deliberative democracy, communicative democracy

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif is ʼn kritiese ondersoek na skoolhoofde se onderwysleierskap en -bestuurspraktyke in die huidige demokratiese bestel. Die doel van die studie is om die mate van transformatiewe integrasie van demokrasie onder skoolleiers en -bestuurders te verken. Ek het besluit om my eie storie te vertel, dus gee ek ʼn verhalende verslag van my loopbaan as ʼn onderwyser, en spesifiek as ʼn skoolhoof. Ek beweer dat leiers en bestuurders in die onderwys nog steeds die tradisionele opvattings oor skoolleierskap en bestuur huldig, en dat hierdie opvattings hulle denke en optrede rig. Ek voer aan dat onderwysleierskap en bestuurspraktyke verander moet word sodat skole tot dieper, demokratiese praktyke kan transformeer. Ek argumenteer voorts dat dit voorkom asof huidige begrippe van leierskap en bestuur in skole in positivistiese tendense vasgelê is wat transformatiewe praktyke in skole ondermyn en dat positivistiese leierskap en bestuur “dun” vorme van demokratiese skoolpraktyke voortbring. Ek toon aan hoe positivistiese teorieë van onderwysleierskap en -bestuur verband hou met onverdedigbare wyses van lei en bestuur, naamlik verwronge gesag, genderdiskriminasie en die uitsluiting van diverse kulture. Ek voer aan dat onderwysleierskap en -bestuurspraktyke geherkonseptualiseer behoort te word binne ʼn raamwerk van demokratiese burgerskapsopvoeding. Die ontwikkeling van demokratiese burgerskapsopvoeding wat onder meer voortspruit uit die seminale denke van Jürgen Habermas, Seyla Benhabib en Iris Marion Young, versterk my betoog vir sosiale geregtigheid, vernuwing en herstel binne die skoolpraktyke. Hierdie teoretici vorm die denke en optrede van leiers en bestuurders in die onderwys as deurslaggewende begrippe van transformatiewe onderwysleierskap en bestuurspraktyke in skole. Sulke idees konseptualiseer ʼn deurslaggewende begrip van oorlegplegende leierskap en bestuurspraktyke as konstrukte vir grondliggende integrasie van demokrasie in skole. Binne hierdie konteks ondersoek die proefskrif ʼn werkwyse vir ʼn grondliggende integrasie van demokrasie in skole deur oorlegplegende leierskap en bestuur. So ʼn benadering het die potensiaal om kommunikatiewe demokratiese momente in onderwysleierskap en -bestuurspraktyke aan te moedig deur na die stemme van die “ander” te luister. Ek stel voor dat, ten einde demokratiese leierskap- en bestuurspraktyke te vestig, toestande geskep moet word waardeur die demokratiese regte van die “ander”, wat voorheen gemarginaliseer was, in klaskamerpedagogie en skoolbestuur ingesluit moet word om “dieper” burgerskap te verseker. Met ander woorde, deur na die stemme van die “ander” te luister, word die potensiaal geskep om verdiepende demokratiese leierskap en bestuurspraktyke aan te moedig sodat “skole met hoop” tot stand gebring kan word. Trefwoorde: Onderwysleierskap, onderwysbestuur, positivisties, kritiese, burgerskap, oorlegplegende demokrasie

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