Advertisement

Taking Change to Scale: Lessons from the Jika iMfundo Campaign for Overcoming Inequalities in Schools

  • Mary MetcalfeEmail author
  • Alistair Witten
Chapter
Part of the Policy Implications of Research in Education book series (PIRE, volume 10)

Abstract

This chapter describes a large-scale system improvement intervention designed to test a change methodology that is simple enough to be implemented within existing resources but would have a significant, sustainable, and positive impact on learning across the basic education system. The intervention took place over 3 years in 1,200 public primary and secondary public schools in 2 districts. The focus of the change was the deepening of professional conversations about curriculum coverage within the school – between teachers themselves; between teachers and the school management teams (SMTs); and between the school and district officials. Differentials in curriculum coverage (understood as opportunities to learn) between well-performing and poorly performing schools mirror socio-economic inequalities that create unequal opportunities to learn. The training and coaching focused on developing the institutional routines and practices to support and strengthen curriculum coverage. This chapter also provides the rationale for intervention; the essential features of its methodology; and the key lessons that were learned. These lessons include systemic weaknesses in respect of teacher support, and the complexity of professional judgement in interacting with the policy guidance provided in respect of curriculum coverage.

Keywords

Large-scale education change Opportunities to learn Curriculum coverage Professional agency Internal and reciprocal accountability School management and leadership Professional evidence-based and supportive conversations Compliance Supervision Curriculum management 

References

  1. Christie, P. (2018). Chapter 1: Introduction. In M. Monyokolo (Ed.), Learning about sustainable change in education in South Africa: The Jika imfundo campaign (pp. 2013–2017). Johannesburg: SAIDE.Google Scholar
  2. City, E. A., Elmore, R. F., Fiarman, S. E., & Teitel, L. (2010). Instructional rounds in education: A network approach to improving teaching and learning. Teacher Librarian; Bowie, 37(3), 69–70.Google Scholar
  3. Coleman, J. S., Campbell, B., Hobson, C., McPartland, J., Mood, A., Winefeld, F., & York, R. (1966). Equality of educational opportunity report. U.S. Washington DC: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  4. Department of Basic Education. (2014). Report on the annual national assessment of 2014 grades 1 to 6 & 9. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.Google Scholar
  5. Department of Basic Education. (2015). Action plan 2019 towards the realisation of schooling 2030: Taking forward South Africa’s national development plan 2030. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.Google Scholar
  6. Department of Basic Education. (2016). Personnel administrative measures (PAM). Technical Report Government Gazette No. 39684. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.Google Scholar
  7. Department of Basic Education. (2017). Report on implementation evaluation of CAPS. Summary Report. Technical report, Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.Google Scholar
  8. Elmore, R. F. (2000). Building a new structure for school leadership. Washington, DC: Albert Shanker Institute.Google Scholar
  9. Elmore, R. F. (2004). School reform from the inside out: Policy, practice, and performance. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press.Google Scholar
  10. Elmore, R. F. (2005). Accountable leadership. The Educational Forum, 69(2), 134–142. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131720508984677 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Elmore, R. (2006). Leadership as the practice of improvement. In Paper Prepared for the International Conference on Perspectives on Leadership for Systemic Improvement. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  12. Elmore, R. (2008). Improving the instructional core. Graduate School of Education, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  13. Elmore, R. (2010). Leading the instructional core. Conversation, 11(3), 1–12.Google Scholar
  14. Gustafsson, M. (2005). The relationships between schooling inputs and outputs in South Africa: Methodologies and policy recommendations based on the 2000 SACMEQ dataset. Ph.D. Thesis, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch.Google Scholar
  15. Hargreaves, A., Braun, H., & Gebhardt, K. (2013). Data-driven improvement and accountability. Boulder: National Education Policy Centre.Google Scholar
  16. Hoadley, U. (2010). What do we know about teaching and learning in primary schools in South Africa? A review of the classroom-based research literature. University of Stellenbosch: Department of Economics.Google Scholar
  17. Hoadley, U., Christie, P., & Ward, C. L. (2009). Managing to learn: Instructional leadership in South African secondary schools. School Leadership and Management, 29(4), 373–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Howie, S., Van Staden, S., Tshele, M., Dowse, C., & Zimmerman, L. (2017). Progress in international reading literacy study 2016. South African children’s reading literacy achievement. Summary Report. Pretoria: Centre for Evaluation and Assessment.Google Scholar
  19. King Cetshwayo District Municipality. (2017). King Cetshwayo district municipality integrated development plan (2017/18-2021/22). http://www.uthungulu.org.za/images/IDP/201718.. Accessed 3 Feb 2018.Google Scholar
  20. Levin, B. (2012). System-wide improvement in education. Education Policy Series, 13, 1–38.Google Scholar
  21. Lortie, D. C. (1977). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  22. Mc Lennan, A. (2018). District support for Curriculum Management Change in Schools. Presentation made at learning about sustainable change in education in South Africa colloquium.Google Scholar
  23. Metcalfe, M. (2018). Jika iMfundo 2015–2017: Why, what and key learnings. In Christie, P. & Monyokolo, M. (Eds.), Learning about sustainable change in education in South Africa: the Jika iMfundo campaign 2015–2017. Johannesburg: Saide.Google Scholar
  24. NEEDU. (2013). NEEDU national report 2012: The state of literacy teaching and learning in the foundation phase. National education and evaluation development unit. Technical report, Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.Google Scholar
  25. Oosthuizen, M., & Bhorat, H. (2006). Educational outcomes in South Africa: A production function approach. Canada: Secretariat for institutional support for economic research in Africa Working Paper No. 2006/05.Google Scholar
  26. Peurach, D., & Peurach, D. J. (2011). Seeing complexity in public education: Problems, possibilities, and success for all. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rambau, T. (2018). Enabling accountability and oversight for effective monitoring of school curriculum coverage. Presentation made at learning about sustainable change in education in South Africa colloquium. https://www.dropbox.com/preview/Colloquium Google Scholar
  28. Schmidt, W. H., & Prawat, R. S. (2006). Curriculum coherence and national control of education: Issue or non-issue? Journal of Curriculum Studies, 38(6), 641–658. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220270600682804 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schmidt, W. H., Cogan, L. S., & McKnight, C. C. (2011). Equality of educational opportunity: Myth or reality in U.S. schooling? American Educator, 34(4), 12–19.Google Scholar
  30. Talbert, J. E., & McLaughlin, M. W. (1994). Teacher professionalism in local school contexts. American Journal of Education, 102(2), 123–153. https://doi.org/10.1086/444062 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Taylor, N., & Moyane, J. (2005). Khanyisa education support programme: Baseline study part 1: Communities, schools and classrooms. Johannesburg: JET Education Services.Google Scholar
  32. Van der Berg, S. (2001). Resource shifts in South African schools after the political transition. Development Southern Africa, 18(4), 405–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Van der Berg, S., & Burger, R. (2003). Education and socio-economic differentials: A study of school performance in the Western Cape. South African Journal of Economics, 71(3), 496–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wills, G. (2018). A quantitative perspective on School Leadership and Management in South Africa. Presentation made at learning about sustainable change in education in South Africa colloquium.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JohannesburgSowetoSouth Africa
  2. 2.The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entreprenuership, Graduate School of BusinessUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations