Title page for ETD etd-09272005-141017

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Soobrayan, Venitha
URN etd-09272005-141017
Document Title Transformation or travesty? A study of the micropolitics of educational change in the case of the incorporation of a college of education into a university
Degree PhD (Education Policy Studies)
Department Education Management and Policy Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof J D Jansen
  • Higher education and state South Africa
  • Universities and colleges South Africa mergers
  • Teacher colleges South Africa mergers
  • Office politics South Africa
Date 2003-11-19
Availability unrestricted
In 1997 the national Department of Education embarked on a programme of rationalisation to reduce the number of colleges in the country and to simultaneously integrate colleges into the Higher Education sector. This is a case study of the incorporation of a college of education, the South African College for Teacher Education, into a university, the University of South Africa.

The focus of this study is the nature and consequences of micropolitics in the education change environment. It suggests that micropolitics plays a significant role in the outcomes of an education policy implementation process. It further argues that in order to understand the role and effects of micropolitics in education change, a theory for micropolitics and education change needs to be developed. The theory posited here is that micropolitical activity is an essentialising of the tensions between modernist contexts and mentalities of change, and postmodernist ambitions of change.

The study is guided by two research questions: What are the different understandings among different groups and individuals as to why incorporation emerged and was pursued as government policy? and How did different stakeholders influence and shape the incorporation process and outcomes?

The literature review indicates that there are important gaps in the understanding and explication of micropolitics and education. A marked inadequacy of the literature examined is that the study of micorpolitics has thus far been limited to studies of the school environment in developing countries and of leadership within such environments.

The methodology used in the study recognises the value of a constructivist, interpretive approach to data analysis and narrative development. In particular, the methodology addresses questions of truth and ethics in conducting qualitative research.

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