Professional Training and Lifelong Learning for School Heads of Departments: A Gateway for Headship Continuous Improvement

  • Sharon Thabo Mampane


This chapter focuses on the training of teachers in middle management, called Heads of Department (HoDs), for lifelong learning through mentoring and coaching. HoDs are former class teachers promoted to the role of supervising other teachers (Bush in Theories of educational leadership and management. Sage Publication, London 2011). Professional training of HoDs aims at equipping HoDs with updated abilities, interests and knowledge for teacher leadership. During mentoring, guidance, advice and information are provided to the HoDs by more experienced persons (mentors) for career development. The mentors pass down their knowledge, skills and expertise to HoDs who may not possess such skills through formal training. Coaching helps HoDs build self-confidence to improve performance during teacher leadership. During training, problem-solving hands-on activities are carried out and a relationship of trust and collaboration develops. The starting point is the identification of the learning goal and training that focuses on support, achievement of set goals and becoming more accountable for actions. The aim is to equip HoDs with the monitoring of teaching and learning skills and the identification of teacher development and support needs. Training is part of lifelong learning and essential for the facilitation of learning excellence. This chapter will therefore explore conceptual frameworks and innovative ways of supporting lifelong learning through HoD training in mentoring and coaching.


Professional development Lifelong learning Teacher empowerment Heads of department Mentoring Coaching 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Leadership and ManagementCollege of Education, University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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