The reflective account of the leadership and management practices of four primary school principals during the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study aimed to understand how school principals led and managed their schools during the 2020 and 2021 COVID-19 pandemic. It provides an in-depth interpretation and analysis utilising relevant literature and Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field to investigate the school principals’ leadership and management practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study followed a qualitative research method located in the interpretivism paradigm where the participants were purposefully selected. The principals selected to partake in the study were school leaders who led and managed their schools during the 2020/1 pandemic period. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews in the comfort of the school principal’s office. School principals are responsible for the schools’ daily functioning and were at the forefront of dealing with the pandemic crisis. The analysis of how principals led and managed their schools during the pandemic, within the diversity of their context, provides an understanding of the complexity of school leaders' leadership and management practices. The findings revealed that throughout the 2020 and 2021 pandemic, school principals led and managed their schools according to their previous educational and leadership and management experiences. Drawing on Bourdieu, the study shows how their previous experiences informed their dispositional ways of thinking and being which impacted their practices as leaders and managers during the pandemic conditions. Thus, the thesis responds to the main research question: What do the reflective accounts of four primary school principals in diverse contexts reveal about leading and managing a school during a crisis?
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen opsomming beskikbaar.
Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2023.