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Title: The influence of culture on educational leadership in Zambia : a case study of the Phiri School
Author: Matshakaile, Mthulisi
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 1618
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2019
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This study explores the influence of culture on educational leadership (EL) as perceived by teachers and school leaders at a Zambian school. Culture is increasingly recognised as a significant influence on EL; consequently, studies have been conducted in this area, primarily in East and South East Asia. The African context lags in this regard, resulting in assumptions that African EL is predisposed towards western cultural and leadership practices. This study begins to correct these assumptions and proposes an alternative view. It was guided by three research questions; 1) what cultural values, beliefs and practices influence EL in the school, 2) how these values influence the enactment of EL and 3) how far the concept of Ubuntu influences EL. The study is based on the interpretive paradigm, combining in-depth interviews with focus group discussions to gather rich, descriptive, contextualised narratives and accounts of leadership. Inductive analysis develops a formulation of theory rounded in the perspectives and practices of educational leaders in the Zambian context. The findings reveal the far-reaching importance of the African cultural and societal concept of Ubuntu, which is based on communalism and recognition of humanness in others. Ubuntu influences EL through values like care, support, peaceful coexistence, reverence for age, respect for authority, collectivism and harmony. African traditional practices of patriarchal leadership and paternalism are evident in hierarchical structures and the preponderance of male educational leaders and the resultant gender disparity among Zambian educators. The colonial legacy along with socialist influences have influenced EL through an enduring adherence to bureaucratic leadership structures and authoritarianism. Ethnocentrism and an over-reliance on aid are historical influences which also affect the enactment of EL in Zambia. In summary, there are some uniquely African cultural values, beliefs and practices influencing EL, whilst others have been identified in other cultures like Chinese society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Thesis ; Educational leadership ; Zambia