The role of the school principal in fostering the creativity and innovativeness of educators
Khumalo, Motlalepule Johanna
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The aim of this research was to determine the role of the school principal in fostering the creativity and innovativeness of educators. This aim was explored by: determining the nature of creativity and innovativeness; determining the role of the principal in fostering the creativity and innovativeness of educators at schools; and investigating how the creativity and innovativeness of educators is currently fostered at schools. The literature survey on the nature of creativity and innovativeness revealed creativity as the generation of novel and useful ideas and the ability to combine them in a unique way, while innovativeness is the ability to be innovative, i.e. to implement creative outcomes to benefit an organisation or the practical application of ideas towards the organisation's objectives. Creativity and innovativeness can thus be fostered by creating a stimulating work environment that advocates enriched jobs and supporting management practices, an organisational culture that supports innovativeness and an environment that provides adequate resources. Therefore, creativity and innovativeness are a function of an organisational climate that promotes nine dimensions, namely, challenge and involvement, freedom, trust and openness, idea time, idea support, debate, risk-taking, conflict management and humour and playfulness. The empirical survey found that school-organisational climates generally foster educators' creativity and innovativeness in terms of the dimension thereof.-How it was found that some dimensions enjoy more prevalence at schools than others. It was also found that some aspects of these dimensions were inconsistent with the general finding that schools portray climates conducive to educators' creativity and innovativeness. For instance, the involvement of educators in vision review as a way of setting standards or as a pace-setter for performance, and educators having to seek permission before implementing their creative ideas were seen as not fostering creativity and innovativeness at schools. Although there were statistical differences in responses between principals and educators on all creativity and innovativeness dimensions, it was found that these were of no practical significance and thus could be attributed to chance or coincidence. This study therefore recommends that principals should adopt a holistic approach to school organisational creativity and innovativeness. In this way, all the dimensions will be fostered, thus creating school organizational climates that engender the creativity and innovativeness of all educators and focusing on all aspects of their work. Principals should also receive capacity building exercises, initiated both at school and at departmental levels. These exercises should focus on staff development that relates creativity and innovativeness to the achievement of teaching and learning outcomes.
- Education