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Circuit Managers Free State engage in leadership for change

In previous postings, we already reported on workshops as part of a learning path in which Free State Circuit Managers (CMs) are currently engaging. The learning path intends to capacitate CMs to support school leadership for effective Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and educational change.

During the first workshop in May 2015, participants learned more about effective CPD practices and reflected on their current practices. Participants identified priority domains for their own professional development. During the second workshop (16-18/3/2016) attention was given to planning effective CPD, establishing PLCs and leadership styles.

The third workshop (22 to 24/6/2016) focused on leadership for change. Each of the insights were linked to the participants’ context and experiences. What underlying factors are at play in the schools that participants support? What opportunities are there which are not yet used to the full? After discussing theoretical models for initiating and implementing change, they started working on their own change case which entails an improvement path for a school in their circuit. Circuit managers also deepened their understanding of the key characteristics of PLCs via video analysis of a South African PLC in action.

During this fourth workshop, held from 28-30 September 2016 in Kroonstad, the learning on leadership for change was extended to dealing with resistance and exploring how best feedback can be given. Again, all insights were applied to the change case of each participant. Participants continued the work on their change cases (initiating and implementing change at their school) and one case was presented. Participants engaged with the case, with how it was presented and what change it entailed. The circuit manager who presented received peer feedback. Participants were specifically asked to reflect on how theoretical models of giving feedback can enrich their interventions in their schools. For example, participants learned to distinguish between ‘feeding back’ (about past performance), ‘feeding up’ (clarifying the desired performance) and ‘feeding forward’ (clarifying the next steps).  Feedback skills were practiced via role play.

Participants further unpacked their role in PLCs and engaged with a variety of PLC scenarios.  These will assist in further strengthening the understanding of PLCs and activities that can be done in a PLC. The scenarios also helped in unpacking the role of circuit managers in establishing and supporting PLCs.

The workshop ended with a session on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). This session helped circuit managers to become familiar with basic M&E terms and concepts and apply these terms to their work (including PLCs). They acquired M&E related knowledge and skills that they can use in managing interventions within the education sector. Participants applied the concepts to PLCs, by identifying criteria for success of a PLC and defining indicators for these criteria.

Circuit managers will continue engaging with their schools and apply the lessons learned. The trajectory will continue in 2017.

The workshop was facilitated by VVOB.

More pictures can be found here.