At the Feet of Giants: How South African Advocates for Equity in Education (Re) Interpret Their Leadership Styles
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This research study focused on South African advocates for equity in education. It used semi-structured interviews with three South African advocates for equity in education exploring their personal attributes, acts, and practices of leadership for equity. The findings from this study provide evidence that: advocates for equity were strongly influenced by apartheid, adopted an Ubuntu paradigm, were significantly impacted by poverty, and shared similar costs of advocacy. The main conclusions drawn from the research were that all advocates were guided by a deep commitment to the education of children. They possessed strong visions for equity in education, were determined to move from rhetoric to action, and practiced a deep love for people. It countered deficit perspectives regarding responses to poverty and highlighted poverty as a leadership building tool. The study recommends that advocates for equity have professional development to strengthen their cultural responsiveness, time management, people-skills, resiliency, and project management skills. It concludes by suggesting that further studies focus on international advocates for equity in education, such as women, Black African, and minority groups such as Indian, Coloured, and Khoi San advocates for equity.
Chalklen, Warren Leslie (2015). At the Feet of Giants: How South African Advocates for Equity in Education (Re) Interpret Their Leadership Styles. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from