Educational change : a support programme for educators in an inclusive school setting

Campher, Elsie J (2003-12)

Thesis (PhD)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the movement towards inclusive education, demands that quality education for all present challenges for educator support to facilitate educational change in South Africa. The proposed link between effective educational transformation and understanding and managing change stimulated the researcher's desire to develop an in-service education and training programme for educators within the concept of whole school development. Such a programme could ensure the simultaneous development of competence of the individual and the school as an organisation. The first phase of this study comprised the development of a particular in-service educator support programme aimed at addressing the identified needs of a specific target group of educators to facilitate educational transformation within an inclusive setting. The primary focus of the study was the development of educator competencies that would help educators cope with educational change by means of the establishment of school-based support teams. The content was based on a comprehensive overview of the literature on individual and institutional development as well as change. This was synthesized into four modules (Module one: change, transition, reviewing and clarifying vision and mission; Module two: leadership, teamwork and support; Module three; organisational change, the learning organisation and organisational culture; Module four: application). In the second phase an evaluation research design was used to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the programme in order to make judgements (from an accountability perspective) to facilitate programme improvement (from a development perspective) and to generate knowledge (from the perspective of academic value). The programme was presented in ten sessions of three hours each over a period of seven months during and after which qualitative and quantitative data was obtained and combined to ensure higher quality data for the identification of outcomes. An interpretive version of content analysis was applied for the identification of patterns from which subcategories, categories and a main theme was constructed. The programme succeeded in achieving the primary objective of facilitating the establishment of school-based support teams: 95% of the schools that participated in the programme established school-based support teams. It also contributed to the development of personal and professional competency in educators that helped them cope with educational change. Participants experienced significant positive changes in their own thinking and perceptions regarding inclusive education, educational change, support and teamwork. They understood why they needed to change, and developed a better understanding of how to deal with the effects of change. From the patterns identified, the sub-categories of personal, professional and school development were constructed. Change emerged as the overarching main theme. Embedded within this were the roles of the facilitator and of transformative learning. The research flndinqs confirmed that the problem was appropriately conceptualised and that the design of the programme adequately addressed the needs of the participants. Respondents reported that they were more knowledgeable and skilful, and that they had experienced positive changes in their attitudes. These personal changes contributed to better educational service delivery and improved schools. This study demonstrated that educators can be given the support they need to cope with educational change through an in-service support programme which is needs driven and which focuses simultaneously on individual and organisational development.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Eise vir kwaliteit opvoeding in die beweging na inklusiewe opvoeding stel uitdagings aan opvoederondersteuning om opvoedingsveranderinge in Suid-Afrika te fasiliteer. Die voorgestelde skakel tussen effektiewe opvoedingstransformasie en die verstaan en bestuur van verandering het by dié navorser die begeerte aangewakker om 'n indiensopvoeding- en -opleidingsprogram vir opvoeders te ontwikkel binne die konsep van heelskoolontwikkeling. So 'n program sou die gelyktydige ontwikkeling van die individu se bevoegdheid en van die skool as organisasie kon verseker. Die eerste fase van die studie het die ontwikkeling van 'n spesifieke indiensondersteuningsprogram vir opvoeders behels wat daarop gemik is om die geïdentifiseerde behoeftes van 'n spesifieke teikengroep opvoeders aan te spreek om opvoedingstransformasie binne 'n inklusiewe omgewing te fasiliteer. Die primêre fokus van die studie was die ontwikkeling van opvoedersbevoegdhede wat opvoeders sou help om opvoedkundige veranderinge te hanteer deur middel van die vestiging van skoolgebaseerde ondersteuningspanne. Die inhoud is gebaseer op 'n omvattende oorsig van die literatuur oor individuele en institusionele ontwikkeling. Dit is byeengebring in vier modules (Module een: verandering, oorgang, hersiening en verduideliking van visie en missie; Module twee: leierskap, spanwerk en ondersteuning; Module drie: organisatoriese verandering, die leerorganisasie en organisatoriese kultuur; Module vier: aanwending). In die tweede fase is 'n evalueringsnavorsingsontwerp gebruik om 'n omvattende evaluering van die program uit te voer met die doelom oordele te vel (vanuit 'n rekenskapgewende perspektief) om programverbetering te fasiliteer (vanuit 'n ontwikkelingsperspektief) en om kennnis te genereer (vanuit die perspektief van akademiese waarde). Die program is in tien sessies van drie uur elk oor 'n periode van sewe maande aangebied. Gedurende en na hierdie periode is kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe data verkry en gekombineer om data van hoër gehalte vir die identifisering van uitkomste te verseker. 'n Interpretatiewe weergawe van inhoudsanalise is aangewend om patrone te identifiseer waaruit subkategorieë, kategorieë en 'n hooftema saamgestel is. Die program het daarin geslaag om die hoofdoel te bereik, naamlik om die totstandbring van skoolgebaseerde ondersteuningspanne te fasiliteer: 95% van die skole wat aan die program deelgeneem het, het skoolgebaseerde ondersteuningspanne begin. Die program het ook bygedra tot die ontwikkeling van persoonlike en professionele bekwaamheid in opvoeders wat hulle gehelp het om opvoedkundige verandering te hanteer. Deelnemers het beduidende positiewe veranderinge in hul eie denke en persepsies ondervind rakende inklusiewe opvoeding, opvoedkundige verandering, ondersteuning en spanwerk. Hulle het verstaan waarom hulle moes verander, en het 'n beter begrip ontwikkel ten opsigte van die hantering van die uitwerking van verandering. Uit die geïdentifiseerde patrone is subkategorieë van persoonlike, professionele en skoolontwikkeling saamgestel. Verandering het as die oorkoepelende hooftema te voorskyn gekom. Ingebed hierin was die rolle van die fasiliteerder en van transformatiewe leer. Die navorsingsbevindinge bevestig dat die probleem op toepaslike wyse gekonseptualiseer is en dat die ontwerp van die program die deelnemers se behoeftes op gepaste wyse aangespreek het. Respondente het gerapporteer dat hulle oor meer kennis beskik en vaardiger is en dat hulle positiewe veranderinge in hul houdinge ervaar het. Hierdie persoonlike veranderinge het bygedra tot beter opvoedkundige dienslewering en verbeterde skole. Hierdie studie het aangetoon dat opvoeders die nodige ondersteuning kan kry om opvoedkundige verandering te kan hanteer deur middel van 'n indiensondersteuningsprogram wat behoeftegedrewe is en wat terselfdertyd fokus op individuele en organisatoriese ontwikkeling.

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