Pure Bliss as Supervisor and Student Graduate Together
UKZN staffer Dr Sibonelo Blose and his student Mr Ndumiso Khuzwayo were all smiles as they celebrated graduating together.
Blose graduated with his PhD in Education while Khuzwayo graduated with his Master’s in Education cum laude. Both Blose and Khuzwayo are proud of their educational achievements, saying that hard work and dedication was key to their success.
‘I feel honoured to get my Master’s degree alongside my supervisor,’ said Khuzwayo. ‘Dr Blose is a humble person that I look up to. He is an amazing and supportive supervisor who taught me a lot of things about the world of academia. This achievement would have not been possible without his support and guidance,’ he said.
Khuzwayo’s research explored the lived experiences of three Subject Head educators in three secondary schools. The findings revealed that the Subject Heads perform various functions in leading teachers; curriculum management and the provision of mentoring to novice teachers being the main functions performed by these leaders.
His study further revealed that Subject Head educators experience numerous challenges in leading fellow teachers such as resistance from their colleagues, lack of power in their roles and in training as well as time barriers. To respond to some of these challenges, the participating Subject Heads lead through delegation and by going the extra mile.
The two (Khuzwayo and Blose) are in the process of writing a paper from Khuzwayo’s Master’s dissertation. Apart from this, Khuzwayo plans to return to UKZN to pursue a PhD in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy (ELMP).
Blose’s study explored the lived experiences of Deputy Principals across each of the five school quintiles. The study intended to understand the role of Deputy Principals in the school quintile system; what meanings and understandings shape their leadership practices and how school quintiling shapes their leadership practices.
The study found that Deputy Principals have multiple identities as they affiliate to various social categories. These categories describe and prescribe how they think, feel and behave. ‘Deputy Principals also hold a multiplicity of meanings and understandings derived from their personal and professional aspects of selves. These leaders therefore drew from this repertoire of meaning and understandings in enacting their leadership in schools. Further, school quintiles were found to have a bearing on the leadership practices of Deputy Principals,’ said Blose.
Several contextual factors associated with each of the school quintiles were identified and these contextual factors were found to present challenges and opportunities to Deputy Principals. Accordingly, Blose’s study concluded that Deputy Principals negotiate relevant context-based leadership practices in their respective school quintiles. The study viewed the leadership practices of Deputy Principals as a product of the interaction within self and the interaction with the school quintile or context in which they operate.
Words: Melissa Mungroo
Photograph: Rogan Ward