26 SES 05 A, Educational Leadership
Parallel Paper Session
This paper tells the story of developments in Ghana, West Africa under the aegis of the Centre for Commonwealth Education in Cambridge. The programme’s purpose is to work in collaboration with partners at the University of Cape Coast to support headteachers in adopting a more learning-centred approach to their role, and to help them address many of barriers which currently impede them from focusing on learning and generating a learning-centred dialogue with their staff, with their students and with parents. There are many obstacles to teaching and learning in Ghanaian schools, and yet there is no structured pre-service preparation for those who are expected to lead and support teaching and learning. Headteachers tend to be appointed on the basis of their teaching experience and seniority. Once in post, training is typically very limited: in the five year period 2002-2007 75% of headteachers in Ghana had received less than a week’s training. What professional development there has been to assist headteachers in their roles has typically been on an ad hoc basis associated with foreign aid initiatives. Headteachers tend to view their role as custodians, guarding resources such as text books, maintaining registers of teachers’ attendance and punctuality, and checking lesson plans. Few view themselves as leaders or have established the link between their headship role and pupil learning. The need to build leadership capacity among headteachers and the lack of leadership preparation have been identified as key issues in improving education in Ghana. A focus on learning and dialogue are two of the five key principles of the Leadership for Learning model, developed through a three year seven country research study. These principles are tested, applied and refined in the Ghanaian context. Political developments, the colonial legacy and decolonization provide the backdrop to the narrative.
Antwi, M. (1992) Education, Society and Development in Ghana. Accra, Unimax Publishers Limited. Bridges, D. (2008) ‘Education and the Possibility of Outsider Understanding’, The Terry McLaughlin Memorial Lecture, International Network of Philosophers of Education Biennial Conference, University of Kyoto. Coe, C. (2005) Dilemmas of Culture in African Schools: Youth, Nationalism and the Transformation of Knowledge, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Crawford, G. (2010) Decentralisation and struggles for basic rights in Ghana: opportunities and constraints, The International Journal of Human Rights 14 (1), 92–125. Eisner, E. (1991) The Enlightened Eye: Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice. New York, Macmillan. GES, CET, UCC (2009) Memorandum of Understanding: Basic School Headteacher Capacity Strengthening in Leadership for Learning. MOU made in Accra, Ghana, on 22 July 2009. MacBeath, J. and Dempster, N. (2009) Connecting Leadership and Learning: Principles for Practice. London, Routledge. McWilliam, H.O.A. and Kwamena-Poh, M.A. (1975) The Development of Education in Ghana. London, Longman. Mefum-Mensah, O. (2004) Empowermenr or impairment? Involving traditional communities in school management, International Review of Education, 50: 141-155. Obeng, C.S. (2002) Home was Uncomfortable, School Was Hell: A Confessionalist-Ethnographic Account of Belief Systems and Socio-Educational Crises in the Schooling of Ghanaian Rural Girls, Nova Science Publishers, New York Sefa Dei, G. and Opini, B. M. (2007) Schooling in the context of difference: the challenge of post-colonial education in Ghana in D. Thiessen and A. Cook-Sather (Eds.), International Handbook of Student Experience in Elementary and Secondary School, 463–491, Rotterdam, Springer. Segura, C.C. ( 2009) Lost in Translation: Why the Structures of Formal Schooling are not Translating in Rural Ghana, Thesis submitted to International Development Studies, University of Toronto. http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17583 Thiong’o, N. (1986) Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, New York, Heinemann
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
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Network 26. Educational Leadership
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