An investigation of the school organisational climates of well-performing, previously disadvantaged secondary schools
Mofokeng, Salome Kelly
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This study set out to investigate the nature of the organisational climates of well-performing, previously disadvantaged secondary schools. These schools were studied because, despite their 'disadvantagedness’, they consistently performed well with regard to their National Senior Certificate (NSC) results for more than three consecutive years. For this reason, the study used the Organisational Climate Descriptive Questionnaire-RS, as it focuses on principal and teacher behaviours as dimensions of school organisational climate. These behaviours are directive and supportive principal behaviours, and engaged, frustrated and intimate teachers behaviours. The main findings of the study revealed that the surveyed schools had closed organisational climates with closed principal and teacher behaviours. This implies that principal behaviours were highly directive, and supportive behaviours were below average. Teacher exhibited highly intimate; very low engaged; and above average frustrated behaviours. An important finding was that directive principal behaviour correlated with teacher engaged behaviour, which in turn led to high performance while teacher behaviour seemed intimate as a result of below average supportive principal behaviour. However, the tests for statistically significant correlations and differences indicated low and weak effect sizes and correlations, which were of no practical effect. Consequently, it was concluded that high directive and low supportive principal behaviours were intent on maintaining performance and teacher behaviours had features of engaged and intimate behaviours. Lessons learnt from the study relate to the need for a balance in both directive and supportive principal behaviours. Because some work demands are ‘must-dos’, (for example, paperwork and administration), it is necessary for a high level of directive principal behaviour. In addition, directive principal behaviour coupled with high supportive behaviour will reduce frustrated teacher behaviour. This balance should be based on leadership that directs through guidance and 1 These are schools that were designated for black learners during the apartheid era and were located mostly in townships and rural-farm areas. delegation, and also provides clear policies for executing tasks that may appear routine and burdensome.
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