Development of professional online course for School Principals

Posted on August 13, 2017

Inspired by the policies embodied in the South African Standard for Principalship, and the Five-Year Strategic Plan 2015/16 to 2019/20 of the Department of Basic Education, the development of this course is a collaborative effort by Prof Johan Beckmann and Mr André du Plessis from the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies. Support from abroad is provided by Prof Jukka Alava from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, and support has also been provided by [email protected] The course offers a contextually intelligent training programme for educational leaders and aspiring leaders that draws on international and South African expertise and experience in educational leadership and management development. It provides participants with the latest theoretical insights and opportunities for reflecting and designing context-specific home grown solutions to challenges.

The first phase of the development was a comprehensive documentary analysis of the competencies of educational leaders as expressed in the Policy on the South African Standard for Principalship. This was followed by grouping the identified competencies into sub-themes after which the sub-themes were further consolidated into ten modules.

The pedagogical approach of the course provides an option to participants to complete an individual module according to their own individual need(s) or to complete the whole course. Participants are required to access on-line lectures (an average of 18 on-line lectures per module) developed by the University of Jyväskylä, as well as other course material, such as academic articles, PowerPoint presentations, videos and policy documents. Each module culminates in a seminar session which presents participants, with the guidance of trained facilitators and an opportunity to present their newly acquired knowledge as it relates to their specific personal and professional context.

Peer assessment is done during the seminar sessions, followed by the submission of an assignment which is assessed on-line, culminating in a participant’s ‘own leadership book’.

The whole course is subsequently submitted for endorsement by the South African Council for Educators (SACE). Such endorsement will enable participants to gain  Continuing Professional Teachers -points for completion of individual modules as separate short courses, as well as for the completion of all ten modules. A key feature of this course is that it will be accessible anywhere in the country and seminar sessions will be presented nationwide. It is envisaged that the course will be adapted to suit the needs of other countries on the African continent.

- Author Annalize Brynard
Published by Annalize Brynard

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