Improving teaching and learning in selected Mauritian secondary schools
: an exploration of the instructional leadership narratives of principals

  • Guy Jean-Noel Genevieve

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The study explores issues of the quality of teaching and learning and
    instructional leadership, as experienced by principals in selected state secondary
    schools in Mauritius. Five principals were purposively chosen, representing a
    range of variations that can be found in the population of principals of state
    secondary schools. The narratives collected were analysed in three ways. A
    narrative portrayal of each participant was first produced. The narratives were
    also analysed collectively to evidence common structures and themes. Finally,
    the narratives were analysed using theoretical frameworks describing various
    dimensions of quality teaching and instructional leadership.

    The principals tended to focus on short-term, high-visibility objectives, usually
    unrelated to academic performance. They appeared to be strongly guided by
    considerations of risk minimisation, avoidance of conflict and loss of reputation,
    all of which need to be understood in the context of their professional
    experiences. They are very careful to avoid situations that they felt could escape
    their control. Despite this inhibiting factor, they showed concern for quality by
    using a combination of approaches to improve on academic achievement and
    various aspects of school life. Direct intervention on teaching is, more often than
    not, enacted when quality of teaching falls below a threshold. The key indicator
    is constructed within a quantitative frame, determined by the number of
    complaints received. The data thus gestures strongly towards leadership as
    control, risk mitigation and maintenance of routine school activities.

    This research contributes to educational policy by indicating that support for the
    principals should be reviewed to provide them with risk management skills. The
    support system should also ensure that right from their initial career stages, the
    instructional leadership practices of principals are better aligned with the official
    quality of education policies of the Government.
    Date of AwardJul 2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Brighton
    SupervisorDavid Stephens (Supervisor)

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