The Leadership Behaviour of the School Principal: An Exploratory Study in Five Special Schools in Kwazulu-Natal

This study examined the leadership behaviour of the school principal at five special schools in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. A quantitative survey was conducted involving 50 teachers (11 male; 39 female) across the five schools. The Likert-scale survey questionnaire used in the study comprised 37 items categorised along five dimensions of leadership: collegial relationships; communication of vision and goals; professional and personal growth; shared decision making, and recognition of professional skills and accomplishments. The data was analyzed using multiple statistical procedures, including mean point value, standard deviation, t-test of significance and one-way-analysis of variance (ANOVA). The findings revealed that there is limited evidence of the leadership factors and characteristics examined in the study at the five schools. There were interesting differences by gender in responses of teachers on whether the key leadership characteristics were displayed by their school principals. The findings suggest a strong need for re-culturing of the special schools in the direction of participatory and transformative leadership styles and a sharing of power. Key words: school leadership, gender, school principal, special schools.

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