An induction programme for the professional development of newly appointed deputy principals
Khumalo, Jan Balotlhanyi
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An induction programme for the professional development of newly appointed deputy principals. Research problem: This study focused on the following research question: What induction programme can be developed for the professional development of newly appointed deputy principals? Research aims: Arising from the research problem, the aims of the study were firstly to determine from the literature, the nature of professional development and induction (Chapter Two) and secondly to determine the problems experienced and skills needed by newly appointed deputy principals (Chapter Three). The third aim was to determine by means of a quantitative survey the extent of problems newly appointed deputy principals experience and critical skills they need to perform optimally (Chapter Four and Five). The final aim was to develop an induction programme for the professional development of newly appointed deputy principals. To achieve the research aims, a literature review and an empirical investigation were undertaken. Research methodology: The empirical investigation entailed quantitative methodology in the form of a survey which was underpinned by the post positivist paradigm. The data collection instrument was a survey questionnaire which was developed based on the literature. The validity and reliability of the instrument was determined by using the applicable statistical techniques. The collected data was analysed by means of statistical techniques such as frequency analyses, Cohen’s effect sizes and Pearson correlation coefficients. Descriptive statistics were used in the discussion of the results. Development of an induction programme: The results of the literature review and the empirical investigation were taken into account for the development of the induction programme. The induction programme consists of two sub-programmes to address the problems experienced and the skills needed, separately. The induction programme for this study consists of three phases, namely, the pre-service, induction and continuing professional development phases. The pre-service phase entails aspects of preparation and training which deputy principals are expected to acquire prior to appointment. The problems and skills are addressed during the induction phase while the continuing professional development phase entails remediation of problems and development of skills on an on-going basis. Each induction programme comprises of specific aims, actions steps to be taken to achieve the aims that are set and measures to evaluate progress. Main findings: Findings regarding the expansion of theory: The theoretical model that emerged from the literature review reveals that the induction of newly appointed deputy principals is envisaged to follow three phases, namely, pre-service, induction and continuing professional development. The model forms the basis for the development of the induction programme for this study. Findings regarding the improvement of induction practice: The deputy principals’ questionnaire was developed as a data collection instrument and validated. This instrument can be used in future by researchers who are interested in the deputy principalship in a South African context. The induction programme that is developed for this study will contribute to the improvement of the practice of induction, because it identifies problems that are experienced by newly appointed deputy principals and the skills they need, and suggests action steps to address these problems and develop the skills that are needed. Recommendations: The pre-service training of deputy principals by means of a formal qualification or in-service training should cover areas of school management and leadership wherein deputy principals experience problems upon appointment. Such training should endeavour to develop the skills that are needed to address the problems. Schools should formally appoint a mentor for the newly appointed deputy principal. In schools with two deputy principals, the senior deputy principal could be a mentor. In schools with only one deputy principal, the principal could be a mentor, with an experienced deputy principal in a nearby school. The school principal or mentor should use evaluation results or performance feedback to identify areas in which the deputy principal needs help and this should be a sustainable and on-going activity. The newly appointed deputy principal should, after the first year, evaluate the formal induction programme at the school, indicating strengths and shortcomings, in order to streamline and constantly improve the induction process.
- Education