Investigating principal capacity in literacy Instructional leadership at selected primary schools

Bernadictus O'brain Plaatjies


This paper investigates the capacity of primary school principals with regard to literacy instructional leadership. I argue that specific capacities related to literacy instructional leadership include principals’ knowledge of the literacy curriculum, supervision of the literacy instructional programme, empowerment of literacy teachers through professional development activities, the manner in which principals promote print-rich literacy classrooms, and the importance of principals having a vision and mission for literacy instruction. This qualitative study was conducted at six schools in the Motheo district, Mangaung Municipality, Free State, South Africa. Embracing a multiple case study research design, data were collected through individual interviews with each principal. This data were subject to thematic and content analysis. The findings revealed that principals have a poor understanding of the literacy CAPS curriculum. They also lack an understanding of data-driven decision-making. Professional development activities to enhance literacy instruction are neglected and teachers receive little guidance regarding strategies to construct print-rich literacy classrooms. However, principals demonstrated some commendable practices in the monitoring of literacy practices. Furthermore, the findings indicate that measures that address the impact of the social context on literacy instruction are insufficient.  




Instructional leadership; literacy leadership, literacy instruction, capacity, curriculum

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