Creating sustainable learning environments in schools by means of strategic planning: The experience of engagement by a comparative education team at a university
AbstractMany schools in South Africa are dysfunctional, or at least do not function optimally. This statement could be substantiated by just citing statistics about failure rates, school dropout rates, school violence, matric pass rates, learner absenteeism, educator absenteeism or the incidence of discipline problems and the effect thereof on educators. This problem could, to a considerable extent, be addressed by means of proper strategic planning of the education system as such and of particular schools. Educational planning expertise in South Africa, however, is extremely thinly spread, concentrated virtually exclusively in academics at universities specializing in educational planning. The authors who are academics at a university and who are specializing in Comparative Education and in Educational Planning, have for some time, as part of the application of research based developments and community service, been involved in facilitating strategic planning in schools. Based on their knowledge and experience in the field of Comparative Education, and having subjected it to the test of practical implementation, the authors have developed a model for strategic planning to be used specifically in schools. This article gives a theoretical foundation of the model, outlines
the model, and describes the researchers’/developers’ experience of employing it in strategic planning at five South African schools.