Mentorskap as toerusting vir beginnerskoolhoofde in Pretoria
Van Jaarsveld, Magdalena Christina
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Beginner principals in South Africa and internationally are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the demands set to them. Inadequate preparation and support are the causes that many beginner principals cannot meet the challenges. The beginner school principal has to cope with the diversity in schools, socio-economic differences, language and discipline problems as well as departmental issues. Too many learners in a class, over-aged learners still at school and a lack of resources are part of the challenges of the beginner school principal. This study focused on the type of support beginner principals require, their opinions regarding mentorship as supportive tool, and their views on the characteristics and qualities of an effective mentorship programme. As a result of the interviews, beginner school principals admit that an academic qualification is not enough to support them. Furthermore they also claim that the support from the Department of Basic Education is inadequate. An experienced or even a retired principal as mentor will address the demands and challenges in an on-going nature and will be more suited to support them. Therefore the main question will be: How will effective mentorship support beginner school principals? A qualitative research approach within an interpretivistic paradigm was followed during the investigation. By applying purposive sampling, ten principals from different cultural and racial background were identified as participants. Data was collected from principals by means of individual interviews and two observations per principal. The discourse analysis that followed indicated that beginner principals find areas such as management skills, legal issues, human relations, communication and departmental instructions, the most difficult areas to manage. What emerged and came to the fore was a need for a mentor to support them in specific areas. A mentorship programme, that focuses on these areas, with clear guidelines containing theoretical and practical components, was developed as a result of the research.
- Education