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Issues in Educational Research, 2020, Vol 30(1), 345-364.
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Instructional leadership sensemaking for science and maths in South African multi-deprived middle schools

Maria Tsakeni, Paul N. Munje and Loyiso C. Jita
University of the Free State, South Africa

Sensemaking is pivotal in shaping organisational activities, such as instructional leadership actions in schools. This study used sensemaking to explore the outcome when two middle schools with similar multi-deprivation settings followed different instructional leadership enactment trajectories for science and mathematics. Two schools with effective and ineffective instructional leadership enactment strategies respectively were purposively selected from the same locality to participate in the study. Data were obtained through semi-structured interviews with 10 participants, as well as unstructured observations. Emerging data were analysed for content by means of the technique of constant comparison. The findings of the study indicate that, although multi-deprivation conditions have the potential to shape instructional leadership, schools can use sensemaking to forge unique practices that culminate in effective instructional leadership. Since ineffective sensemaking of instructional leadership generally characterises schools in multi-deprived settings, the findings of this study make it essential for districts to provide tools that support schools' effective sensemaking of instructional leadership.
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Authors: Dr Maria Tsakeni is a senior lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology Education, at the University of the Free State, Qwaqwa campus, South Africa.
Email: tsakenim@ufs.ac.za/ mtsakeni@gmail.com

Dr Paul N. Munje is a post-doctoral fellow in the SANRAL Research Chair in the Faculty of Education at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein Campus, South Africa.
Email: munjepn@ufs.ac.za, munjepaul@gmail.com

Professor Loyiso C. Jita is the Dean of Education and professor in the School of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology Education at the University of the Free State, South Africa.
Email: jitalc@ufs.ac.za

Please cite as: Tsakeni, M., Munje, P. N. & Jita, L. C. (2020). Instructional leadership sensemaking for science and maths in South African multi-deprived middle schools. Issues in Educational Research, 30(1), 345-364. http://www.iier.org.au/iier30/tsakeni.pdf


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