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Servant-leadership practices of school principals in faith-based Christian schools of South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Van Wyk, C. Shula, Melese Tumato 2020-02-28T08:25:13Z 2020-02-28T08:25:13Z 2019-02
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study was to explore the servant-leadership practices of principals in faith-based Christian schools of South Africa. For the purpose of this study the researcher employed a qualitative case study design, using the constructivist paradigm. The data gathering methods consisted of semi-structured interviews with six principals, focus group discussion with other six principals and three teachers and later on employed direct observation of two principals. In total, 15 participants were involved in the study. The findings show that for the participants servant-leadership is understood and practised as a call to service, to lead as a team and build capacity to lead together as a community. This study also further showed the importance of the ten characteristics that identify the essence of a servant-leader in school principals’ servant-leadership practice, especially in the South African context. According to the findings from study data, inspiring qualities required of the servant-leader, patience, living by example, desire to serve others, putting the needs of others first, especially the underprivileged. Additional fruits of servant-leadership are empowerment, establishment of healthy relationships, support for one another, creating trust, collaborative leadership, community building, self-sacrifice of the leader for his/her school community, and the servant-leader truly representing the idea of service to members of the school community. This study further noted that school leaders’ leadership role in faith-based Christian schools is guided by biblical principles of love, compassion, and care for the needy. In order to practise these principles, principals are to be humble, relational, and servant-hearted. However, these biblical principles wouldn’t have any value if there is no credibility, integrity, or leading by example. The study also attempted to create some strategies to develop servant-leadership practices in faith-based Christian schools, this study suggests that school leaders inculcate the spirit of collaboration and communication in their schools, practise attentively the ten characteristics of servant-leadership, build relationships, set a clear vision for the school with the school community and negotiation skills. This study generated several implications for policy, practice, and further research. First, the policy that faith-based Christian schools of South Africa make an intentional choice to promote servant-leadership would serve a good purpose. Secondly, using servant-leadership practicing principals to share their experiences with new principals during the hiring process is a practice worth imitating. To understand a broader picture of the servant-leadership role and practice of faith-based Christian school principals, this study suggests future research be extended to get information from parents and learners as well. Future research that comparers servant-leadership practices in high schools and primary could open new understanding of servant-leadership, as elementary schools have more parental engagement in their schools. A future study could investigate the correlation between the practices of teachers and of principals of servant-leadership in faith-based Christian schools. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (180 unnumbered leaves) en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Authentic leadership en
dc.subject Building community en
dc.subject Characteristics of servant-leadership en
dc.subject Challenges of servant-leadership en
dc.subject Faith-based en
dc.subject Leadership theories en
dc.subject Moral leadership en
dc.subject School principals en
dc.subject Servant-leadership en
dc.subject Service en
dc.subject Teamwork en
dc.subject Transformational leadership en
dc.subject.ddc 371.20120968
dc.subject.lcsh School principals -- South Africa -- Case studies en
dc.subject.lcsh Church schools -- South Africa -- Administration -- Case studies en
dc.subject.lcsh Servant leadership -- South Africa -- Case studies en
dc.subject.lcsh Educational leadership -- South Africa -- Case studies en
dc.title Servant-leadership practices of school principals in faith-based Christian schools of South Africa en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Educational Management and Leadership en D. Ed.

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