Proceedings of The International Academic Conference on Education
Understanding School Leaders’ Challenges and Needs in THE Management of Multigrade Classrooms
The study focused on the problems faced by school heads and ways to support them in implementing the practice of multigrade teaching. A new policy was recently introduced in the country where public primary schools with pupils’ enrolment of 30 and below had to implement multigrade teaching. Until now, it has been implemented for more than a year that involved 393 schools. A qualitative study was carried out to identify the problems they were still facing and the types of support required by them. The study used an online form sent to their e-mails. Sixty-eight school heads’ open-ended questions responses were used in the analysis. Analyses were based on two major themes namely the challenges and the supports. Both major themes were then given sub-themes to be more focused. Overall, it was found that the major challenges were related to teachers’ knowledge and skills, pupils’ ability and resources. Based on the analysis, it was suggested that continued support to be provided to the schools in terms of the school leaders’ management and leadership aspects. Also, pedagogical competency, curriculum integration and resources management skills of the teachers needed to be supported.
Keywords: multigrade teaching; school leadership; small schools; qualitative approach.