'You learn from going through the process': the perceptions of South African school leaders about action research
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In South Africa, the under-resourced and socially challenging contexts in which the majority of schools function, calls for leadership that has the vision to look beyond seemingly insurmountable problems. South African school leaders must develop the capacity to envisage and create schools that function well, in spite of the daunting environmental challenges. To facilitate the development of leaders capable of doing this, we engaged ten schools, and 24 school leaders, in an action research project. In this article we provide qualitative evidence that engagement with a systematic process of critical reflection and action facilitated epistemological and ontological shifts within the participating school leaders, contributing to changed perceptions and leadership practices. Critical reflection on the values underpinning this transformation also provided them with standards against which they can gauge the quality of their future leadership practices, thereby promoting sustainable development and improvement within their school communities.
- Faculty of Education