Dr Lorinda Minnaar – EMASA Conference, Bellville, 2011 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY To determine the expectations that governing bodies of public primary schools in middle-class contexts hold of the work of educators in the light of prevailing education labour law. RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. What do members of governing bodies of public primary schools situated in middle-class contexts expect of educators with respect to educator workloads? 2. To what extent are governing body expectations of educators, in respect of their workloads, aligned with or divergent from prevailing education labour law? LITERATURE REVIEW 1. International Literature: Dinham & Scott – Rush to Reform Education Naylor & Schaefer – BCTF Reports on Educator Workload Naylor – Time-Use Study Hargreaves – Work Intensification Thesis 2. South African Literature Educator Workload in South Africa Study – HSRC&ELRC Chisholm & Hoadley Report – IQMS&RNCS 3. Legislation Constitution South African Schools Act, 84 of 1996 (Section 20) National Education Policy Act, 27 of 1996 (Seven Roles) Employment of Educators Act, 76 of 1998 (Core Duties) Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 75 of 1997 Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 RESEARCH DESIGN PARADIGM Qualitative _____________________________________________________________________ STYLE Interpretive _____________________________________________________________________ SAMPLE Public Primary Schools in Middle-Class Contexts (Bellville, Durbanville, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Somerset- West) _____________________________________________________________________ PARTICIPANTS SGB, Educators & Principals _____________________________________________________________________ DATA Open-Ended Questionnaires (SGB) COLLECTION Time-Use Diaries (Educators - 2 weeks) INSTRUMENTS Informal Conversations with Principals _____________________________________________________________________ DATA ANALYSIS Content and Document Analysis FINDINGS THAT EMERGED FROM QUESTIONNAIRES SGB EXPECTATIONS OF EDUCATORS IN TERMS OF CORE DUTIES Teaching Responsibilities • Plan and prepare lessons thoroughly. • Teach creative, lively lessons. • Mark learners’ work promptly and accurately. • Provide meaningful feedback and ensure remediation. • Furnish parents with regular, informative progress reports. Classroom Management • Create a positive teaching and learning environment. • Maintain consistent, fair discipline. Extra-Mural Activities • Be fully involved in sport, cultural, social and fundraising activities and committees. • Know learners in contexts other than the classroom. Pastoral Duties • Guarantee learner safety. Administrative Duties • Follow up on absent learners. • Assist learners to catch up on work missed due to illness. Professional Duties • Keep abreast of developments in education. INTERPRETATION OF FINDINGS QUESTIONNAIRES SGB expectations of educators with respect to the core duties are aligned with prevailing education labour law because of its open-ended nature. It is not clearly defined, specific and explicit. It is characterised by silences and omissions, which afford members of SGBs legitimate opportunity to assign additional, unspecified duties and responsibilities to educators. FINDINGS THAT EMERGED FROM EDUCATOR TIME-USE DIARIES, SHOWING THE CORE DUTIES ON WHICH EDUCATORS SPENT THE MOST TIME OVER TWO WEEKS Highest: 50 hours • Teaching lessons Very High: 12 – 23 hours • Maintaining discipline • Creating a positive teaching and learning environment • Other extra-mural activities, e.g. charity and community work • Marking learners’ work and providing feedback • Sport activities High: 5 – 10 hours • Planning and preparation of lessons • Other classroom management duties, e.g. assisting student teachers . • Other administrative duties, e.g. photocopying modules • Attending courses and meetings • Keeping record of learners’ assessment and profiles INTERPRETATION OF FINDINGS EDUCATOR TIME-USE DIARIES Educators in middle-class public primary schools are presently meeting, and in many cases exceeding the expectations of not only the SGB, but also the expectations prescribed in prevailing education labour law. Educators often perform duties and carry out responsibilities of which most people are unaware. IMPLICATIONS OF FINDINGS • The SGBs of public primary schools in middle-class contexts attach high value to education and hold high expectations of educators in terms of their workload. “Teaching is a calling” and “Walk the extra mile”. • High expectations lead to an intensification in the workloads of educators who teach at public primary schools in middle-class contexts. “The pressure on educators is a daily occurrence”. • Prolonged intensification of educator workload could in future proliferate high educator turnover due to stress and burnout, which holds serious implications for middleclass schools in terms of the delivery of sustainable quality education for learners. CONCLUSION To what extent will educators in future be able to respond to even greater parental expectations in regard to educator workloads? Will this trend continue or will policy writers intervene?