Experiences of transformational leaders practising social-emotional learning in a time of crisis

Authors

  • Mariksa van Reenen University of Johannesburg
  • Paul Triegaardt University of Johannesburg

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/ijtl.v19i1.18855

Keywords:

COVID-19, crisis management, head hearts and hands, staff wellbeing, ongoing staff training, transformational leadership, social-emotional learning

Abstract

This research focused on investigating how adopting a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) approach to leadership influenced the learning culture in low-decile Limpopo, South African schools amid the challenges posed by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. The study employed the Head, Heart, and Hands Transformational Leadership Model as its theoretical framework. Through workshops with school leaders, the researchers gathered the leaders experiences and insights, revealing the difficulties faced by them during the pandemic and the strategies they employed to ensure continuous learning. The study underscores the significance of SEL in fostering mindfulness, self-mastery, and effective communication and relationship-building skills. The researchers recommend providing SEL training for school leaders and integrating SEL into teacher training programmes. Ultimately, the study contributes to advancing both theory and practice in the realm of SEL leadership, particularly in crises.

Author Biographies

Mariksa van Reenen, University of Johannesburg

Mariska van Reenen is an experienced educator with a passion for nurturing organisational excellence and fostering inclusive cultures. With a diverse background spanning across different continents and roles, she brings a wealth of experience in educational leadership, operational management, staff training and community development. Her research interest is Leadership during a time of crisis and the role of Social Emotional Learning. Mariska solidified her expertise in educational management with a Master of Education from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. In her role as a Student Jobs Project Coordinator at Massey University, New Zealand, Mariska spearheads initiatives to develop a student talent pool, with a focus on mental health and wellbeing. Her previous roles in South Africa, notably at a Cambridge International Assessment Education school, showcased her versatility, ranging from Head of Primary School to Exams Officer. Beyond academia, Mariska has engaged in counselling, supply teaching, home tutoring, EQ4Kids and market research, exhibiting her multidisciplinary approach to personal and professional growth. 

Paul Triegaardt, University of Johannesburg

Paul Triegaardt has a DEd in Education and is a Research Associate in the Department of Education Leadership and Management at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His research interests are in distributed leadership, teacher well-being and the use of technology in education during the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He supervises postgraduate students in the field of Education Leadership and Management. He is also a qualified trainer who provides training to aspiring teachers as well as qualified teachers who want to develop their knowledge and skills resulting in progression into employment or career development in the workplace. He has written and published chapters in books and peer-reviewed articles in his field of interest. He is also an external examiner and moderator for many universities. 

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Published

21-05-2024

How to Cite

van Reenen, M., & Triegaardt, P. (2024). Experiences of transformational leaders practising social-emotional learning in a time of crisis. The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning, 19(1), 93–109. https://doi.org/10.17159/ijtl.v19i1.18855

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