School Management and Leadership Education for Multi-Religious Schools
Contradictions and contestations with regard to the implementation of religion-in-education policy have become a worldwide phenomenon. An increasing number of costly and protracted court and legislative battles between schools and parents over religion in schools has been reported. In this article, I aim to highlight some of the school management issues surrounding the implementation of religion-in-education policy in some selected South African schools. Based on mediation theory, the study uses individual interviews to gather data from twelve purposively selected school principals to investigate how they implemented the religion-in-education policy in their respective schools. The findings show that despite the implementation challenges of the religion-in-education policy, the majority of the selected school principals displayed the qualities of a transformative mediator. I, therefore, recommend that school leadership programmes for school leaders offer mediation, and transformative mediation in particular, as a leadership and management course. That is, South African universities should consider training school principals on the use of transformative mediation as a strategy they can use to resolve conflicts and handle disputes in schools as it holds potential benefits for fields such as education.
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