Skip to content

JELPP – Volume 33, Issue 2 (Dec 2018)

Indigenous knowledge and early childhood care and education in Ethiopia

Hawani Negussie1 and Charles L. Slater2
1Brandman University, Irvine, CA; 2California State University, Long Beach, CA, USA

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to explore the integration of indigenous knowledge and cultural practices in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programmes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Vygotsky's (1986) sociocultural theory in combination with Yosso's (2005) community cultural wealth theory served as the conceptual as well as the methodological framework advising the components of this research. This qualitative case study invited perspectives from local parents, teachers, directors, a university faculty member, and administrative personnel from the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia. Major findings uncovered that language, the Ethiopian alphabet (fidel), traditions and cultural practices passed down from generation to generation, were seen as part of Ethiopia’s larger indigenous knowledge system. The value of using indigenous knowledge, including the extent of integration of cultural practices as measured through use of native language, curriculum and educational philosophy, revealed distinct language preferences (Amharic or English) based on school, personal wants and population demographics.

Keywords

Early Childhood Care and Education; indigenous education; multilingual education; Ethiopia; community cultural wealth

Culturally sustaining instructional leadership: Perspectives from Native American public school principals in Montana and Wyoming

William T. Holmes and Suzanne Young
University of Wyoming, USA

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative study was to gain a deeper understanding of principal beliefs of an emergent framework called Culturally Sustaining Instructional Leadership (CSIL) developed from a review of literature designed to support the implementation of Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP). Through a detailed review of literature, six instructional elements and five cultural elements were developed to guide principals in the removal of barriers and in support of teacher implementation of CSP. Principals of public schools located on Native American reservations in Montana and Wyoming (USA) were surveyed regarding their beliefs about CSIL practices and if their beliefs differed between instructional elements and cultural elements. Through a reporting of means and paired samples t-testing, the results of this study indicated principals demonstrated a significant preference for working in instructional versus cultural elements. The lowest CSIL element was student empowerment signifying that the voices of Native American students were not being heard. The principals of this study did not have a clear definition of the Democratic Project of Schooling congruent with Paris (2012). The implications of this study are the need for training and awareness in CSP and CSIL to preservice administrators in training and in-service administrators in the field.

Keywords

Culturally sustaining pedagogy (CSP); culturally sustaining instructional leadership (CSIL); democratic project of schooling; educational leadership; instructional leadership

Middle-level leaders as direct instructional leaders in New Zealand schools: A study of role expectations and performance confidence

Carol Cardno1, Joanne Robson2, Arun Deo1, Martin Bassett1 and Jo Howse1
1UNITEC Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand; 2Leading Learning Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand

Abstract

The literature on instructional leadership consistently assigns this role to school principals whilst indicating that it can be spread amongst others. Recently the spotlight has moved to middle leadership involving a focus on classrooms through direct instructional leadership. The purpose of this study was to add to a small but growing body of literature that centres on middle-level leadership in schools. The research aims were to conceptualise the nature of the direct form of instructional leadership that has been devolved to the middle leadership level; investigate perceptions of expectations held of middle leaders in schools; and investigate their perceived confidence in performing the role. An on-line survey of 185 primary and secondary school middle-level leaders confirmed strong agreement with the role expectations described in terms of a conceptual framework of direct instructional leadership. The results indicated that whilst overall confidence in performing these tasks was high, gaps existed between role expectations and performance confidence, with the function of “having difficult conversations” being the largest gap for both primary and secondary school middle-level leaders.

Keywords

Middle leadership; instructional leadership; quantitative study; primary and secondary schools; New Zealand

Leading schooling in Aotearoa New Zealand: Understanding and supporting the weight of culture for Māori teachers

Toni Torepe, Angus Hikairo Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Jo Fletcher and Richard Manning
University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Abstract

Leading schools in Aotearoa New Zealand is a critical role. In a bicultural country, a key aspect of this role is developing a school ethos where culturally responsive practices are strongly embedded. Frequently, this is considered in light of the tamariki and rangatahi and their whānau within the wider school community. However, an area where there is a dearth of research is the experiences of Māori teachers working in mainstream schooling. This article focuses on the lived realities of six Māori teachers who completed a graduate qualification in immersion and bilingual teaching in Māori, and returned to their respective schools. The research consisted of the collection and analysis of a detailed written questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with the Māori teachers. The research found that the additional professional and cultural tasks and responsibilities that this group of Māori teachers undertook often went unrecognised financially or otherwise by their employers and fellow colleagues. These Māori teachers felt they were “culturally obliged” to tautoko the students they serve and to support their schools’ respective Māori communities.

Keywords

Māori teachers; leadership; principals; culturally responsive practices; schooling in Aotearoa New Zealand; school ethos

Transitioning to a meaningful appraisal process: One principal’s journey

Bilinda Offen and Susan Sandretto
University of Otago, College of Education, Dunedin, New Zealand

Abstract

This paper focuses on the role of the principal in establishing a meaningful appraisal process. The journey of one urban primary school is explored from the perspective of the principal as the teaching staff transition from an ineffective system to a process that has teacher growth and learners’ achievement at the centre. We acknowledge that the leadership team and teachers played an important role in implementing any changes, however, the key focus of this paper is the principal’s actions. Audio-recorded interviews with the principal and five teachers, followed by three years of participant observations of regular meetings and conversations recorded in field notes, chart the principal’s journey. We argue the principal’s leadership strategies developed a community of practice supporting teacher professional development, which in turn paved the way to shift teachers’ perceptions and produce a meaningful appraisal process. This shift is evidenced in surveys taken at the beginning and end of the three-year period which show a marked change in teachers’ attitudes, beliefs and perceptions of the appraisal purpose. We conclude with implications for school leaders interested in revising their appraisal process.

Keywords

School principal; appraisal, leadership; community of practice

Core professional values for school leaders and teachers: Piloting an online tool

Susan Lovett
University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Abstract

Evidence of the extent to which school leaders and teachers embrace core professional values may, through dialogue, open up new avenues for school improvement. With this in mind, the focus of this article is the piloting of an online survey tool designed to identify how widely four such values are held in New Zealand schools. The pilot was commissioned by the Te Ariki Trust with the support of the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI), the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) and the University of Canterbury. The tool is based on items which together, define four values underpinning the mission of the Te Ariki Trust, namely “Professional Discretion”, “Collegial Obligation”, “Reflective Inquiry and Discourse” and “Evidence based Professional Practice”. An analysis of one school’s responses to such a survey tool is one way to gauge evidence of collective commitment, the strength of collegial relationships and trust, with the realisation that knowing how to collect and reflect on data matters if important decisions are to be well informed. The article draws upon research and scholarly writing to explain the four values, describe the development of the tool and its pilot study and suggest what the results might offer for dialogue using the findings from a sample school whose staff members completed the instrument. Suggested changes to the instrument and its use conclude the article.

Keywords

Professional values; leadership as activity; leadership values; leadership partnerships; disciplined dialogue; decision making

Leading schools that make a difference to bullying behaviour

Sally Boyd and Elliot Lawes
New Zealand Centre for Educational Research, Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract

Student bullying behaviour is a long-standing concern in New Zealand schools. International studies consistently show high rates of student reports of this behaviour. Research suggests that bullying behaviour is a socioecological and systemic phenomenon that is best addressed via systems-based and multifaceted approaches implemented using collaborative processes. Less is known about the most effective components of these multifaceted approaches. This article analyses New Zealand Wellbeing@School survey data to suggest ways forward for schools. A multilevel model was used to associate two student and two teacher measures from the same schools. The findings indicate that a mix of school-wide actions were associated with lower levels of student aggressive and bullying behaviour. Five sub-groups of actions are discussed in the light of recent New Zealand and international research. The article concludes with a call to locate anti-bullying approaches within a multifaceted and holistic framework which has the overall aim of promoting wellbeing and healthy social relationships. A holistic approach enables schools to foster protective factors such as belonging, and address risk factors that influence bullying behaviour, as well as a range of desirable education and health outcomes for young people.

Keywords

Bullying behaviour; wellbeing; school systems; collaborative leadership; behaviour management