Management and Leadership in Schools (MLS)

The Management and Leadership in Schools (MLS) programme aims to develop middle level leaders to expand their roles beyond departments and take on direct leadership for teaching and learning for the innovative school. The core emphasis in this programme iscollaborative learning. It rides on the strengths of the successful Leaders in Education Programme and the former Diploma in Departmental Management Programme.

MLS aims to:

  • Create new knowledge in generative and collaborative learning, beyond single discipline/subject;
  • Enhance expertise competence among middle level leaders, with reference to their position next to the pinnacle of the leadership track;
  • Enhance capacity to lead teaching and learning through the creation of learning teams with the focus on continual improvement in the curriculum.

Programme Description

Effective middle leadership cannot be achieved solely through teaching of competencies and theories of leadership and management. It must integrate skills such as collective knowledge inquiry and professional conversations. It is the presence of a collective order and coordination that is necessary for the development of an innovative and learning school.

In such a milieu, the process of learning is brought about by working on a collaborative curriculum project that involves inter-disciplines.

It involves the activities of participating schools, higher institutions of learning, government and support institutions, and external organisations and individuals.

This process is assisted by face-to-face contacts (lectures and tutorials), and virtual connections which is aided by information communication technology (ICT). The main assumption of using ICT is that the innovative school is not a predetermined entity within a local environment, but is created by the larger environment, with innovative behaviour dependant upon factors determined at the local, zonal and international level.

The learning environment combines social interaction and a reasonably sound innovation/technological culture with openness to the rest of the world, thus providing the best chance for school leaders to learn innovatively.

Programme Structure

A) The Core Module

  1. Leadership
  2. Management
  3. Curriculum

B) The Electives: Participants choose from a wide selection of electives that are useful to manage their area of responsibilties.

C) New features in this programme include

  1. Curriculum Projects - The curriculum projects are utilised as a means of advanced education that entails learning by surfacing and acting upon relevant curriculum problems encountered by middle level leaders. The project includes learning by doing and includes working with inter-disciplinary teams to develop a realistic and innovative curriculum project.
  2. Professional Conversations which are forms of rigorous inquiries into what participants actually do, ("Why did I do it this way? Where did I learn that? What assumptions, personal theory, or values are suggested by my actions? Could I have done that differently? What assumptions or personal theory might be implied by the alternative course of action?). Such daily and ordinary habits as the kinds of questions participants will need to ask, how they greet students and how they lead, how they teach, are all so automatic as to escape ones' attention, but they reveal the powerful regulatory effect of the institutional context of their work.
  3. International Learning which enables participants to develop leadership by providing alternate perspectives and challenges, thus expanding a person's capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes.

Programme Duration

This is a full time programme of 17 weeks' duration.