ACTIONING AUTONOMY: WOMEN PRINCIPALS SUPPORTING TEACHERS IN TRANSFORMING LEARNING SPACES
1 Central University of Technology Free State (SOUTH AFRICA)
2 Sol Plaatje University (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Actioning a sense of empowerment and activist leadership is not a spontaneously created practice for women leaders. Certainly, autonomous principals and teachers have enough capacity and self-ownership to implement curricular and academic changes and make innovations to endorse social justice and improve the outcomes for their learners. Embedded in the Social Construction of Reality theory, this paper recognises the influence of socially and culturally legitimated real-world ideas and practices of women principals and teachers in their learning spaces. This paper argues that women principals have the capacity as autonomous change agents to redesign and transform their learning spaces. In-depth interviews were conducted with five African women principals of urban schools. Themes that emerged include optimising learning opportunities; shaping inclusive school cultures and creating autonomous learning practices. Findings have implications for women leaders supporting and collaborating not only with their own but with their counterparts in other school communities.
Keywords: Activist leadership, autonomy, social construction of reality theory, women principals.