Power relations between teachers and head teachers: a case of selected secondary schools in Lusaka district, Zambia.

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Muleya, Gistered
Sompa, Maureen
Machila, Nisbert
Chibamba, Agness, Chileshe
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Multidisciplinary Journal of Language and Social Sciences Education | Volume 3, Issue 2.
The study sought to explore power relations between teachers and head teachers and its implications on pedagogy on selected secondary schools in Lusaka District, Zambia. The study draws a theoretical framework from Michel Foucault’s notion of power relations. The study employed a descriptive design through the application of qualitative method. Data was collected from 5 secondary schools in Lusaka District. The sample comprised of 20 teachers and 5 head teachers, who were sampled purposively. Data was gathered through interviews and documents and was analyzed thematically by identifying patterns and themes within or across the data. Frequencies and percentages were run to shed more light on the responses from teachers and head teachers and this was presented through the use of figures. The main findings of the study revealed that the causes of power relations between head teachers and teachers varied. Responses from head teachers included absenteeism, late coming, teachers having a negative work culture and not submitting teaching files on schedule. Teachers indicated the following causes of power relations; teachers having higher qualifications than the head teacher, incompetence on the part of the head teacher, unsatisfactory class allocation, and favoritism. Furthermore, the study revealed that power relations have a negative implication on pedagogy such as teachers projecting their frustration on learners, loss of morale on the part of the learners which results in disliking a subject (s) of that particular teacher. The findings of the study further indicated that teachers and head teachers were able to manage their power differences through various management strategies such as confrontation, avoidance, dialogue, maintaining government policy by giving teachers copies of working conditions, charging the teacher, mediation, communication and scolding the teacher. Despite managing the power differences using several strategies, personal grudges between teachers and head teacher still exist. In light of the findings, the study recommends that both headteachers and teachers should undertake a compulsory course on management of power relations in the secondary school teacher preparation programmes. It also recommends that headteachers should also be encouraged to adopt a compromising style for conflict management.
Power relations. , Conflict. , Teachers. , Headteachers. , Pedagogy. ,