Perceptions of success and reasons for success : a study of two successful senior secondary schools in Botswana

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The aim of this study was to research top-management, teachers' and students' perceptions of success and reasons for the success of their school in two senior secondary schools identified as successful in Botswana. Interviews of these participants correlate across students, teachers, school heads and deputy heads in respect of their perceptions of the reasons for their schools' success. Important are the pedagogical and social climate of the school and how they are expressed in the daily work of the school. These factors are: the school head's leadership and expectations, teacher involvement in school policy; forms and content of teacher co-operation; teacher expectations on, and attitudes to student capacity; teaching organisation and content; press for academic success; community involvement and social relations in the school. Governments and schools need knowledge and skills about school improvement and this research attempts to contribute research-based information to help them cope with innovation and improve teaching and learning. School improvement is seen as a combination of school effectiveness and management of change research. Factors that seem to be related to effective schools are listed and knowledge about the change process is used to consider how a school could be improved. It is argued that generic school improvement characteristics and processes take on different meanings in practice, and these meanings are shaped by a school's response to the particular circumstances and challenges of its environment. In turn, this response has implications for the way school improvement programmes are developed and for the role and contribution of the stakeholders to educational change. The study concludes with an outline of possible school effectiveness factors common to those identified in the international literature, those factors specific to Botswana context, and offers further research and policy recommendations.

Includes bibliographical references.