Education is an important part of wider social change processes that occur on a regular basis. Guangdong’s educational system China hasn’t always been as it is now. There was an unequal educational system in place. China has the largest educational system in the world. In June 2021, 10.79 million students in China took the National Higher Educational Entrance Exams. (Chen-Levi et al. 2021). Secondary school students have been accepted into over 1200 higher learning institutions across the country. China’s education spending contributes for around 5% of the country’s total GDP. The Chinese government passed a rule in 1986 requiring all Chinese students to enroll for nine years. The Education ministry claims that Over 97 percent of school-aged youngsters have completed a nine-year basic education program (Sekgota 2020).
China’s rapid rise to prominence as one of the world’s most influential countries in the international education. According to UNESCO statistics, Between 1998 and 2017, the numbers of Chinese students participating in degree programs abroad climbed by 59 percent, reaching over 900,000, making China the world’s largest sending country of international students (Benoliel 2020). This large influx of overseas students from world’s most populous nation, with a population of 1.5 billion people, has an unprecedented worldwide impact on higher education.
The presence of large groups of Chinese students on West university campuses has become commonplace. Students from China enroll three times as many international students as Indian students, the country is the second-largest. Tuition fees and student spending have become a growing economic factor for higher education institutions in countries like Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, contributing to local economies. Chinese nationals made up 35% of all overseas students in 2017. These students contributed to Australia’s largest services export, international education, by generating close to USD$8 billion in onshore revenue. (Mestry & Govindasamy 2021).
China has improved the education quality by overhauling the school curriculum and implementing other reforms. China’s Education Modernization 2035 programme was announced to set the direction for the education sector’s development from “capacity” to “quality,” and to ensure that education modernization supports China’s modernization (Sunker 2021). In 2020, China’s Ministry of Education will launch a pilot education program that will allow 36 top universities in the country, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Fudan University, to pick outstanding high school graduates willing to help the country’s key strategic needs. Under the Strong Base Model, universities will concentrate on increasing enrollment in fields like physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology, which have proven to be unpopular to students in recent times. Most students prefer to major in fields that will lead to high-paying jobs.
The Ministry of Education implemented a number of reforms in 2021, including a set of standards for Chinese mastery in international Chinese language education and guidelines for PE and health education teaching reform. The authoritarian aspect, rigid bureaucracy, and rule-bound hierarchy of different educational departments were frequently replicated at the school level, where the school principals held the majority of local power (Dugang 2020).
1.2 Background of the study
Traditionally, secondary school principals in Guangdong, China, had a rigid and domineering leadership style, with tight and constant control over teachers and school practices (Basson & Mestry 2019). Authoritarian attitude, fear losing power, school cultures rich in deeply ingrained attitudes, talents, and values, as well as cultural, gender, and ethnic variables, are all aspects that contribute to Guangdong school administrators’ preference for authoritarian leadership. These are aspects that have to do with humans.
Freedman & Somech (2021) attribute it to a perception of leadership as being connected to a formal position as a result of, among other things, teacher insecurity and current policy that emphasizes principal responsibility. Secondary education teachers are consigned to “mere stream cipher or automatons devoid of any reasonable understanding of human agency” (Naidoo 2019) within this basically top-down functionalist view of leadership in Guangdong schools. During the previous years, the majority of teachers’ leadership potential was largely untapped. The majority of Guandong teachers were efficiently and successfully prevented from playing meaningful roles as school leaders.
The authoritarian ideology that pervades many Guandong schools makes it difficult to create a free space conducive to creative deliberative and interaction exchange. At such school systems the likelihood of teachers being agents of their very own ultimate fate as opposed to functionaries of state is minimal. “Lowly ranked management teams are on the level of depositing, serving primarily as administrators, not privileged to take initiatives, utilize their creative knowledge and skills, and participate in decision making,” writes one scholar (Mosoge & Mataboge 2021).
1.3 Problem Statement
In secondary school, teamwork is essential to the efficient and effective management of teaching and learning. It also aids in the successful development of educational policies at the micro level, particularly in the classroom. Despite the difficulties in implementing flawed education reforms (Muirhead et al. 2018), the lack of teamwork, among other things, in the SMT at Guandong China high schools appears to have had an impact on educator performance in the classroom and the education quality.
The lack of teamwork in the educational system, according to this study, has the potential to influence the Curriculum and Assessments policy statement. There seems to be a dearth of collaborative expertise in SMTs, which has an impact on school achievement. The implication that teamwork with in SMT must be driven from an educational leadership perspective is at the heart of this research. In Guangdong China secondary schools, there has been little research on teamwork.
1.4 Research Questions
- What do school management teams and teachers feel about lack of collaboration on the quality of education?
- What do school management teams teachers view teamwork in Guandong China secondary schools?
- What teamwork knowledge and skills do school management teams have?
1.5 Research Objective
The aims of this study are to:
- To determine the impact of a lack of collaboration between school management teams and teachers on the quality of education
- To determine school management teams views on teamwork in secondary schools in Guandong, China.
- To determine school management teams teamwork knowledge and skills.
1.6 Significance of the study
This research has the potential to help school management team members (SMTs) by providing them with the skills and information they need to keep sharing their leadership freely and equally in so as to maximize the educational value to students. It will also help the SMT understand how important teamwork is for effective and efficient school management. The study therefore aims to persuade the SMT that teamwork is important in improving school achievements by influencing teachers’ motivations and proficiencies, and the environment of the school.
Furthermore, the study has the potential to provide guidelines to the Education Department for improving SMT training on teamwork so that effective teams can exist in Guandong China Secondary schools.
1.7 Operational Definition
It is critical to define concepts in the study because they may have different connotations for different people and, as a result, their connotative meaning may be lost. The terms defined below are crucial to comprehending the discourse under this study. The following text contains more detailed explanations:-
Bush & Glover (2021) describes teamwork is defined as the gathering of a working group of individual experts for the purpose of prescribing goals, making decisions together, cooperating, communicating and having the knowledge and able to work together to develop work plans that will help you achieve your goal. Teamwork refers to individuals or educational leaders who may not seek power over their coworkers but rather insist on the highest level of quality from all members.
1.7.2. Instructional leadership
The effective orchestration of the skills and abilities of teachers, students, and parents to ensure effective curriculum delivery is what instructional leadership is all about. They say that in order to succeed in this area, an effective principal must stay current with and understand trends in school curriculum development. The principal should act as a facilitator for both students and teachers.
A professional relationship between school leaders and teachers is referred to as leadership. An alliance in which the leaders take a support role and consider others to be constituents.” Instructional leadership, according to (Buthelezi 2021), is a process of striving toward the goal of effective education. In this case, instructional leadership’s purpose and goal is to support, improve, and improve the quality of teaching. According to Mwita 2020, instructional leadership focuses on tasks that are directly related to teaching supervision and staff development while ignoring general management tasks. Instructional leadership “is no longer a completely seperate function different from a principal’s work responsibilities; instead, the simplest and quickest, most accurate way for a school principal to practice instructional leadership is through managerial activities he or she engages in on a daily basis,” according to (HARPHAM 2021). The broad definition of instructional leadership (Mkhabela 2019) includes management and leadership roles that indirectly influence teaching and learning process. Instructional leadership, according to (Padayachee 2021), is a moral responsibility in which leaders are unswervingly committed to the success of students and the development of teachers.
Individuals start organizing and interpreting their sensory experiences in perceiving and giving meaning to their environment. Furthermore, our perceptions and objective reality may differ significantly. Perception is defined as “the process through which we form perceptions of other people’s personalities and traits” (Zacharia 2021). “Perception is the process by which people select, prepare, and interpret sensory stimuli into meaningful information concerning their work environment,” according to (Bhengu & Blose 2022). They claim that perception is the primary determinant of human behavior, and that “no behavior can exist without perception.” They also list the following as components of perception definitions:
- Our environment has an impact on our attention, feelings, and actions.
- Perception aids in the collection of data from your surroundings, as well as the processing and interpretation of that data.
- It can be difficult to distinguish information from action in perception.
- It is essentially a mental understanding process.
- Perception assists the perceiver in gathering, processing, and channeling relevant data in order to meet the perceiver’s needs.
Perception is defined as “the process under which individuals interpret their sensory impressions in giving meaning to their environment” according to an internet reference. Whatever one person perceives might differ significantly from what another perceives, and both may differ significantly from objective reality. In fact, it is one’s sense of reality that determines one’s behavior, not reality itself. Perception is defined as “a process by which people select, organize, and interpret their sensory perceptions in order to give meaning to their environment,” according to the article (Doblinger 2022). Perception, it argues, is a cognitive process that differs from individual to individual. Instead of the actual reality, people’s behavior is influenced by perceptions of reality. Different people can have different perspectives on the same thing. Differences may arise as a result of factors related to the perceiver (motives, expectations, and attitudes), the situation (place or time), or the target (background, novelty, size and sounds). Perceptions, according to the first reference, play a critical role in personal decision making in organizations, influencing both the decisions and the efficiency of the decisions (Benoliel 2021). An individual’s decision is the result of a complex process that includes data intake, screening, processing, and analyzing statistics based on the individual’s perception.
Experience is defined as “the impact of any event, whether observed or participated in, on one’s judgment or feelings; direct and personal impressions as opposed to descriptions or fantasies; individual acquaintance; actual suffering or enjoyment” (Heystek 2022). Experience is defined as “a single or multiple act of knowledge whereby single facts or general facts are recognized; experimental or inferential knowledge; and therefore, inferring skill, facility, or practical wisdom gained through personal experience, sensation, or action; as a king without war experience.”
1.8 Organizational of Chapters
The research is divided into five chapters. The study is introduced in the first chapter. It also articulates the study’s main topic. The background, the significant, the research objectives and questions, and the overall study are all included. The literature review is presented in the second chapter. The study’s methodology is described in the third chapter. The study’s findings are summarized in Chapter 4. The recommendation and conclusion are presented in Chapter 5.
1.9 Chapter Summary
This chapter presents an overview and background, as well as a statement of the problem, research objectives and questions, and the study’s goal. The research method was also outlined, as well as the definitions concepts in this study.
The research challenge and also the changes that have occurred since 1994 are the subject of this chapter. The improvements resulted in a more collegial and participatory view of the principal’s and staff members’ roles. This chapter will also discuss the obstacles and contradictory tasks that the school principal faces as a result of the educational sector’s transition. Under the following headings, the chapter analyses the number of literature that pertains to my study question: management at the school (SBM); introduced and revised educational policies and strategies; School Management Teams’ Teamwork practices; a transition in leadership style from authoritarian to democratic; teamwork’s advantages; different types of teams; effective team traits; a team leader’s responsibilities; vision and instructional leadership.
2.2 SCHOOL-BASED MANAGEMENT
China has a long record of placing a high value on education. There is a lot of society and family pressure on students to excel academically. Throughout history, this has supported educational reform on a variety of levels. Management at the school or at the location, as it is known in the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia is one strategy (Sekgota 2020). In this context, the major distinguishing aspect of the technique is the measurement of “self-management” chances such as school experiences.
School-based management is a method of reorganizing public schools so that educational stakeholders such as teachers, parents, students, and the general public have the opportunity and authority to enhance and improve their school. “SBM is believed to refer to an educational effective management shaped by the change in decision-making authorities and the migration of resources from the head office to the school,” according to (Chen-Levi et al. 2021). Academic institutions function within a legal regime set by the department of education on a global scale (Benoliel 2020). The degree of devolution in the education systems is one of the most important features of such a framework.
In China, the education system is nearly fully centralized. In 1952, the first National Department of Education was established, closely modeled after its Soviet equivalent. Before 1966, it went through three reorganizations. When the Revolution erupted in 1966, the Red Army, with Mao Zedong’s endorsement, dismantled China’s entire educational system. In 1975, the Department of Education was re-established as a single entity (Mestry & Govindasamy 2021). The Ministry of Education was institutionalized by the Governing Council as China’s political situation grew more stable. On June 18, 1985, China underwent a substantial restructure of its central educational administration (Mestry & Govindasamy 2021). The Committee Report of the National people’s congress in China’s 11th Plenary issued a resolution calling for the Ministry of Education to be abolished and the State Education Commission, a multi-functional executive department of the State Council, to be established.
Principal assumptions of collegial models include policy determination and conceptualization, decision-making relying on a procedure of consultations, agreements, and common understanding, and power sharing among some or all people in the organization who are believed to share a common understanding of the organization’s objectives (Sunker 2021). The SEC is China’s ultimate administrative authority for education, and it is responsible for producing individuals who are well-educated and well trained in a variety of subjects and fields (Sunker 2021). For first time in Chinese history, officials in charge of the state’s education systems hold positions of power in the Governing Council. The SEC develops significant educational policies, develops general educational strategies, coordinates educational projects overseen by multiple ministries, and leads educational reform.
2.3 IN A SELF-MANAGED SCHOOL, THE KEY ROLES THAT CONSTITUTE LEADERSHIP
The Department of Education of China has produced a China Standards for Principalship in order to continue to strengthen the Chinese educational system. The ministry outlines the principal’s responsibilities in detail. In a changing educational environment, school management assumes four characteristics that jointly define Principalship, according to (Dugang 2020). Three leadership styles are associated with collegial models: transformative leadership, participative management, and instructional leadership (Mestry & Govindasamy 2021). The central tenets of organizational management are a focus on the commitments and competencies of organizational members, and the fact that a greater level of personal commitment to organizational objectives and greater goal-attainment capabilities would increase the organization’s productivity.
These characteristics, when viewed individually, encapsulate the various roles that a school leader performs in a school when carrying out responsibility of the various constituencies they represents-the principal is a teacher, the governors, a change advocate, and a manager” (Basson & Mestry 2019). The nature of the interaction between one set of stakeholder and the school principal is defined by these several factors. By doing the following leadership activities, the principal can bring synergy and consistency to these various but complimentary functions:-
2.3.1 School principal as a governor: political leadership dimension:
In Shanghai, China, the principal is automatically a member of a team that assists in the formulation of the school’s vision and purpose statement, as well as providing direction, processes, rules, and other regulatory policies in accordance with Chinese government rules. The principle, like other governing boards, is responsible to the ministry, which is the employer (Freedman & Somech 2021). Unlike other members of the faculty, including the teachers, student, and the parents, who are answerable to their own constituencies, the principle is responsible to the employer who oversees the education ministry.
As a member of the governing body, the principle is responsible for providing leadership that encourages involvement from all school stakeholders in order to foster democracy, which is the primary purpose of education in China (Naidoo 2019). The principal adopts managerial leadership under the ministry, they hold this formal powerful position in order to carry out an obligation from the central ministry of education and training, such as the management of academic materials on that government’s behalf.
According to Mosoge & Mataboge (2021), the school principal is viewed as a manager of resources, or “tools” that will maximize “production,” since they are necessary inputs in the teaching and learning process to create “outputs.” As a result, the principal’s competence as a school manager is measured by the amount that these resources are effectively employed as he or she accounts for their use to the resource owners. Significant reforms and impacts from the Western and Russian Union educational models have influenced the system, but it was developed in the 1980s to be a more advanced, autonomous, and westernized system (Muirhead et al. 2018). For overseas students, the Chinese system of education is the second – highest in the world and the most popular study educational destination in Asia.
2.3.2 Transactional/managerial leadership role of the school principal as a manager
Transactional leadership, according to Bush and Glover (2021), is “leadership in which interactions with instructors are built on an exchange for some valuable resource.” According to the teacher, interactions between teachers and principals are typically episodic, quick, and limited to the exchange transaction. For members of organizations, exchange is a well-established political approach. Heads and principals have authority since they are the formal managers of their organizations (Buthelezi 2021). They also wield authority through significant rewards such as promotions and recommendations.
The head, on the other hand, needs the staff’s collaboration to ensure the school’s effective management. Both parties to an agreement may benefit from an exchange. Managerial leadership believes that leaders’ primary attention should be on functions, tasks, and behaviors, and that if these activities are performed successfully, the job of others from the organization will be made easier (Mwita 2020). Formal roles are assigned authority and influence in accordance to their level in the organizational hierarchy.
2.3.3 The role of the school principal as an agent: a transformational leadership aspect
Staff attitudes and preconceptions are influenced by transformational leaders. They instill a sense of devotion to the mission and strive to meet the organization’s goals at all times. As transformative leaders, principals are at the vanguard of the spiralling wave of educational change inside the SBM. The wave of innovation is sweeping through government, curriculum, and management. (HARPHAM 2021) say that “transformational leadership is founded on organizational members’ commitment and capacity.” Extra effort and productivity are expected to arise from greater levels of personal engagement to organizational goals and improved capacities for achieving those goals.’
Internal decentralization, which entails sharing leadership by transferring it laterally among members of staff, is promoted in existing research on school leadership. This comprises assigning people to leadership responsibilities with particular job duties in order to guarantee that leadership is diffused throughout the business and that group managers and leaders have the resources they need, as well as team leaders themselves, collaborate, collegialise, and work together (Mkhabela 2019).
Teamwork has been a top concern for educational leaders as they move away from autocratic leadership and toward more democratic management. This section claims that SMT members in the school would get involved in decision-making through teamwork. In a school, effective teamwork starts at the administration level (Padayachee 2021). Deputy Principals, principals, and departmental heads (topic) have the initial responsibility of creating the foundation for long-term teamwork among themselves, then with the entire school community.
2.4.1 Teamwork practices by SMT
According to Zacharia (2021), in the past, teams were not commonly used in schools. However, there has been an increasing trend in schools over the last 2 decades to use teams in important ways. This viewpoint is mirrored by (Bhengu & Blose 2022), who goes on to say that another aspect of education which has emerged to encourage and enhance use of teams as a tool of growing schools is school certifications. The Chinese Schools Act recognizes this zeal for teamwork, (Doblinger 2022), who points out that “it is just ridiculous to believe that only principals provides educational leadership for school growth.” The Chinese School Act is built on the concepts and goals of collaboration, which are entrenched in school-based management (SBM).
2.4.2 A transition in leadership style from authoritarian to democratic
“Teamwork can be a tremendously rewarding experience, but can also be very difficult,” according to (Benoliel 2021). It depends on a number of elements that managers must consider when determining whether it is rewarding or frustrating.” They go on to say that more current concepts of education leadership demonstrate in schools a shift away from authoritarian leadership and to a more democratic decision-making processes.
2.4.3 Advantages of teamwork in the SMT
To achieve a productive and comfortable workplace environment and implement innovative strategies, the education manager’s ability to organize, lead, and manage a team is vital. Certain organizations regard teams to be a need for best performance. The terms “involvement,” “commitment,” and “responsibility” are examples of this. Using teams allows a wider proportion of people to take part in decision-making, which is the first step to achieving a high degree of commitment (Heystek 2022).
2.4.4 The team leader’s role description
According to (Setlhodi 2020), expectations have shifted from management and control to a leader who can nurture staff development, parental support, local support, and student achievement, as well as deal with big expectations and changes. It will be naive to believe that without leadership, teams will basically remain operational. “Even a team has a dominant member who, for our intents, can be labeled a leader who may easily play a central role in deciding group success,” according to (Tigere 2020). The ability of a manager to form productive teams is critical to educational management success. Team success is determined, among other things, by the team leaders’ styles of leadership and managerial abilities.
2.5 THE ROLES OF TEACHERS AND SMT IN TEAMWORK, AS WELL AS THEIR SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE
This section will examine the many responsibilities played by other partners, teachers and SMTs in aiding principals through broad leadership allotment and also achieving potential educational advantages for all students. Schools could no longer be managed by a single person at the top, given the pervasiveness of inequities in the educational system and the breadth of new laws that necessitate dramatic reform in all its systems. Only by maximizing the abilities of all teammates and fostering a sense of responsibility and inclusivity among instructors, and allowing them to lead portions of the transformation process will schools be able to meet the difficulties (Kamalizeni & Naidoo, 2018).
2.5.1 SMT and Curriculum delivery
Quality education for everybody is one of the international goals that all organizations have set. Education’s minimum guidelines and standards are established in a country’s National Curriculum Standards and policies. Internal efficiency in China is measured using nationally and internationally standardized assessments as well as research projects.
2.5.2 SMT and community relationships
The Chinese system of education requires that community participation in the formation of educational policy be acknowledged as a vital element in education, and all stakeholders be involved in all aspects of the national curriculum, according to (Kamalizeni & Naidoo 2018). The autocratic rule principle should be increasingly reflected at all levels of the educational system, according to the Ministry of Education, by elected officials of the key stakeholder, interest groups, and role players participating in discussions and applicable methods of decision-making. This necessitates a commitment on the part of all educational authorities to disclose all necessary information with stakeholders involved and to consider them as true partners.
2.6 DIRECTIVES FOR IMPROVING SMT TEAM BUILDING TRAINING
Despite the expanding popularity of teams, according to Zwane (2018), the growing need to understanding how teams might improve their performance has not been met by research on team building. Students should be educated and developed so that they possess the knowledge and skills to help the school achieve its objectives. They must also be encouraged, by being given the necessary authority to contribute to the improvement of educational quality.
Individual educators must be educated and trained in order to perform effectively within the ideal conditions that leader has set up for them. Effective leaders spend time getting to know their employees, discovering and identifying their needs, appreciating their contributions, and supporting and assisting them in realizing their full potential. This can be accomplished by on-the-job training and encouraging employees to pursue official certifications (Funabashi et al. 2021). It is stated that a school or college’s dedication to continual learning is critical to attaining its goals through a shared vision (Molise 2021). ‘Educational groups, be they the nurseries, schools, or universities exist to assist learning in some form or another,’ the experts add. Learning is a primary goal for those who work in them, no matter how remote some of their everyday responsibilities appear to be from this.’
Person who cleans and upkeep buildings, playground, and fields, as well as those who prepare and serve meals to pupils do so in order for students to learn in the best possible environment. Similarly, the clerical staff’s primary goal in dealing with documentation is to serve the same objective as the systems they oversee (Lethoko 2019). It is critical that all of these employees comprehend the essential idea that they really have the potential to grow in their respective roles and, as a result, become lifelong learners.
2.7 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
According to (Mestry & Govindasamy 2021), (Mosoge & Mataboge 2021), (Padayachee 2021), and (Bhengu & Blose 2022) their studies on conceptual models, revealed that teamwork, instructional leadership, perceptions and experience (IV) among School Management Team members impacts positively on the school effectiveness (DV) (quality of teaching and learning). According to (Mestry & Govindasamy 2021) teamwork (IV) represents a working group of individual i.e. school managers prescribing aims, communicating, cooperating, making decisions together, knowledge and ability to work together in making work plans to achieve the goal. To succeed in this regard, the instructional leadership (IV) states that an effective principal must be aware of trends in the development of the school curriculum (Doblinger 2022). He or she must be an enabler for both the students and the teachers.
The process through which people arrange and interpret their sensory experiences so as to make sense of their surroundings is known as perception (Bhengu & Blose 2022). According (Padayachee 2021), he explains that what we perceive can differ significantly from objective reality. Additionally, (Doblinger 2022) explains that experience is a single or multiple act of knowledge by which single facts or general truths are ascertained; experimental or inductive knowledge; thus implying skill, facility, or practical wisdom gained through personal knowledge, feeling, or action when this variable comes together effectiveness is achieved (Funabashi et al. 2021).
Independent Variables Dependent Variable
Figure: Conceptual Framework (Adapted from Mestry & Govindasamy 2021), (Mosoge & Mataboge 2021), (Padayachee 2021), and (Bhengu & Blose 2022).
The school-based management authorities continues to grow, the area under administration and the principal’s assigned duties, is increasing. The chapter covers four aspects of school leadership in the context of school-based management: Governors are in charge of political leadership, teachers are in charge of instructional leadership, agents are in charge of transformative leadership, and managers are in charge of management leadership (manager). Perspectives of different stakeholder groups (teachers, community, and parents, teachers) on the school management team as representatives in schools, and the four pillars of multi – faceted educational leadership which support the above aspects, namely viewpoint, practice, strategies, and vision, have also been shared in detail.
Methodology is a lot more practical, and it refers to the process of acquiring reliable information. Methodology refers to the “tools” used to gain knowledge in the real world. It also includes the researcher’s underlying assumptions and methods. The paradigms or research tradition under which the research was done is referred to as methodology. The approach is utilized whenever data is collected using interviews and questionnaires, according to the researcher’s interpretation of the method. Methods can also refer to specific study procedures that a researcher use to do research on a certain issue. They can be thought of as “instrument” for analyzing data. This chapter lays out the basis for the data gathering research strategy and methodologies I used. Using a mixed-method methodology that included both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, the study was able to investigate teamwork activities in two lagging high schools and their two feeder schools. The study’s goal, as mentioned in chapter one, provided the basis for using this methodology.
3.2. Research Design
According to (Mestry & Govindasamy 2021), researchers have discovered that utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in the same study is the best strategy for responding to research questions, the creation and use of mixed method approaches has expanded throughout the years. Mixed method research is defined by (Chen-Levi et al. 2021) as a design that includes both theoretical concepts and methodologies of inquiry. It includes theoretical assumptions that govern the direction of collecting and analyzing data, as well as a blend of quantitative and qualitative methodologies throughout many stages of the research process. It focuses on gathering, evaluating, and combining both quantitative and qualitative data in a same study as a methodology. Some writers urge that qualitative and quantitative research aspects be incorporated at all phases of the research process, while others propose that the stages be maintained distinct before integrating them for the findings (Benoliel 2020). The key beliefs of mixed method as a design (Sunker 2021) are that using quantitative and qualitative methods together provides a greater understanding of scientific challenges than using either method alone.
“The use of mixed-method study designs, which integrate qualitative and quantitative methodologies, has become increasingly common,” as according (Dugang 2020). “Studies are not confined to using approaches based on traditional designs, either quantitatively or qualitative, utilizing mixed-method designs,” the researchers add. The researchers also point out that one of the major benefits of mixed method research is that they may reveal both the quantitative and qualitative results, as well as why they were acquired (qualitative). Researchers have learned over time that using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in the same study is the best strategy to answering research questions. As discussed by, utilizing a mixed-method design has both advantages and cons (Basson & Mestry 2019).
The researcher collected data and examined the outcomes using survey questionnaires in this research. After that, data was gathered through interviews, which were then examined individually. By combining data analysis approaches and countering the strengths and limitations of each method, a more thorough and full view of data was obtained. I was able to conduct an in-depth analysis on the SMTs’ daily teamwork practices and how they will be viewed and experienced thanks to the mixed-method approach. The approach was the best for addressing the issues identified during the literature research and data collection. The research was able to combine the effectiveness of both the qualitative and quantitative designs by employing a mixed method approach. In addition, this methodology gave a more complete picture of what’s being examined, focusing on quantitative findings and the technique that led to those outcomes.
The researcher was able to develop a more comprehensive set of study questions and findings as a result of the type of the data he obtained. The researcher’s choice of a mixed-method design paid off at the end of the study in terms of SMTs’ experiences and perceptions of teamwork, and a discussion of why the results was achieved. Not everything that can be counted can be numbered, and not everything that can be counted can likewise be counted.
Collectively, the group of participants or participants from which the data was obtained is called the sample,” according to Freedman & Somech (2021). The sample can be drawn from a broader group of people known as the population, or it can refer to the group of people from whom data can be obtained. “The nature of sampling process utilized in a specific study is frequently defined by one or many descriptors, like stratified, convenience, or random sampling” the researcher added. This is the method that was used to create the sample. The data for this research was gathered from SMT members from 49 schools for this research within Guangdong, China. SMT members, i.e., principals and deputy principals; head of departments and senior teachers; and one post-secondary educator per school, were the target respondents. Age, gender, post level, professional degrees, managerial experience, workloads, and the number of teamwork seminars attended in the previous three years were all factors included in the study.
3.3.1 PURPOSEFUL SAMPLING
“In purposeful sampling (also known as purposive, or judgement sampling), the researcher picks selected aspects from the population which will be representational or informative about issue of interest,” Mosoge & Mataboge (2021) write. They state again that “a judgment is made regarding which individuals should be chosen to offer the greatest information to answer the research’s aim based on the researcher’s understanding of the population.” According to the experts mentioned above, it may be more helpful to interview key employees instead of a randomly selected of the staff when studying school effectiveness. Several sorts of purposeful sampling techniques for qualitative research are described by Muirhead et al. (2018). In quantitative research, the focus is mainly on the researcher’s judgment in selecting a sample which is representative of the entire population or comprises participants with required qualities. That instance, the focus is often on representativeness, whereas qualitative studies are more interested in picking “information-rich” instances.
Buthelezi (2021) argues that, in contrast to probability samples, intentional sampling entails “selecting information-rich situations for in-depth study” (HARPHAM 2021) when one wishes to learn more about a specific case without needing or intending to generalize to all similar circumstances. Purposeful sampling is conducted to make the information received from tiny samples more useful. Before the sample is selected, information regarding changes among the sub-units must be acquired. In this research, the researcher sought out information-rich selected respondents (SMT members) and locations (schools).
They are well-informed and aware about the occurrences that the researcher looked into. Purposeful sampling, according to (Padayachee 2021), is a strategy where a certain environment, person, or event is purposely produced in order to provide crucial information which can be gathered from other sources. “When a sample is chosen via purposeful sampling, the researcher choses respondents in the sample based of his/her evaluations of the respondents,” Zacharia (2021) says of purposive sampling. (Bhengu & Blose 2022) define purposeful sampling as “choosing information-rich situations for in-depth examination.” “Purposeful sampling is conducted to maximize the validity of information received from small samples”, according to (Doblinger 2022). Before the sample is selected, information regarding changes among the sub-units must be acquired.
The researchers then look for key informants, people, places, or incidents to analyze that have a lot of information. In other terms, these individuals were selected since they are likely to know a lot about the phenomenon the researcher is looking at. Purposive sampling is among the most prevalent sampling procedures, according to the internet search. It divides respondents into groups based on pre-determined qualities relevant to a particular study topic. The resources and time given, as well as the study’s goals, which may or may not be stated prior to data collection, dictate sample sizes. The size of intended sample sizes is typically determined using theoretical saturation. Purposive sampling works best when data review and analysis are done at the same time as data collection.
The schools that were chosen for this study were chosen with care. The schools were selected because their grade twelve scores had either underperformed or great performance” (going in and out of the traps zone) for the previous three years. Age, gender, professional degrees, management experiences, workloads, trainings completed in the previous three years, languages used, and school location were utilized to classify the population into subsets.
3.4 DATA COLLECTION
The specification of techniques to be utilized in locating relevant reviews is part of data collecting (Benoliel 2021). The fundamental objective for gathering data, in my opinion, is to get orientated and get a feel of the scope of the identified topic. Data is collected using a variety of methods, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The researcher took this into account when choosing relevant data collection methods. Certain approaches and techniques were used to examine the collaborative practices of SMT representatives in the selected public schools in terms of addressing research concerns. During the data collection procedure, the mixed-method instruments that follows were utilized to gain insight on how SMT members adopted collaboration in various schools: a thorough literature review of collaboration practices, questionnaires were provided, and interviews were done.
Individual questionnaires and FGI (focus group interviews) were adopted in collecting data in this study. A focus group interview or conversation, according to (Heystek 2022), is essentially a small (typically six to twelve persons) group brought together solely to debate a single issue under the guidance of a facilitator with a list of issues to discuss. Focus groups have the advantage of providing descriptions in voices that are unique to each group.
In a short amount of time, FGI gathers data from a variety of sources. Conversation and reactions are sparked by group dynamics. The goal of this mixed-method study is to learn about School Management Teams’ and educators’ perspectives and experiences with teamwork in their duties as instructional leaders, and the variables that impact their problems and triumphs as curricular implementers at the ministry of education. A comprehensive literature analysis on teamwork practices was done, questionnaires were devised and given on-site, and on-site subjective interviews were held in the data gathering process.
Respondents will be able to gain a better understanding of their collaborative management thinking, which would include common ground and points of disagreement within a group; they will be able to formulate new ideas on how to take advantage of potential educational opportunities; and they will be able to identify action plans that will assist them in focusing on the development, according to Setlhodi (2020). The researcher uses questionnaires since they are very inexpensive, have same questions for all participants, and may ensure confidentiality, as stated in the article (Kamalizeni & Naidoo 2018). “Questionnaire survey can include questions or statements, though in all cases, the respondent is reacting to something created for specific goals,” these researchers write.
“The interview is a favored methodological instrument for qualitative research,” explains Zwane (2018). Furthermore, interviews are “attempts to grasp the world (or phenomenon) from respondents’ perspective, to reveal the significance of personal views, and to unveil their lived reality prior to scientific explanations,” according to (Funabashi et al. 2021). 2021 (Molise) Describe interviews as “mostly vocal questionnaires.” My supervisor gave me permission to utilize the above-mentioned valid data. I was able to have direct connection with participants, conduct in-depth questioning, and obtain lengthy replies about teamwork through interviews with respondents.
This was also done so that personally identifiable information could be obtained and nonverbal and verbal behavior could be observed in person. To enable for personal responses, semi-structured questions were used. A survey of the literature on teamwork led to the creation of research questionnaire items that were closely related to the study’s aims. I acted as an interviewer during interview, the researcher was extremely pleasant and helpful, maintaining eye contact with the respondents throughout, demonstrating attention. As a researcher I protected my own position by speaking less and listening more. As a result, acceptable interactions with respondents were developed.
3.5 DATA ANALYSIS
Data analysis is “a continual, circular process which is incorporated into all stages of descriptive study,” according to Lethoko (2019). Explorative test enables categories and patterns to emerge from data rather than being imposed on it prior to collection. Data analysis is “the process that provides order, direction, and significance to the quantity of data collected throughout a study process,” according to (Mapaire 2019). Data analysis, according to (Chen-Levi et al. 2021), is a procedure in which the analyst must write down his or her knowledge of the data. This study’s key research topic is “How do SMT members view teamwork in their educational contexts?”
The goal of the study is to find out how SMT members interact with one another, how they see collaboration, and whether they have enough knowledge and abilities to establish a team. The goal of the study was to see how collaboration affects the quality of education, as well as whether the Education department is doing much to help SMT members form effective school teams. The goal of data analysis in this study was to enable the researcher to connect meaning to the data, which aided in answering the research issue. Data was analyzed by comparing and categorizing responses to interviews and questionnaires. As a result, the data was matched to the evidence from literature review that was then cross-checked for similarities and differences amongst the 39 schools. The material acquired during the exercise was scrutinized for topics that matched the themes highlighted in the literature review.
3.5.1 SPSS PACKAGE
The statistical analysis was done with the help of a computer. The study’s results were calculated using the SPSS. The researcher’s first step in the process would have been to construct descriptive analysis for each participants in the study. Statistics such as frequency set of scores, percentage, weighted mean, and standard deviation were included. Patterns have been discovered. (Benoliel 2021) assert that data analysis should lead to a better comprehension of the problem and the development of a “new” practical theory which can supplement existing knowledge.
According to (Sunker 2021), analysis entails “splitting up” data into understandable theme, trends, patterns, and linkages in order to comprehend the many constituent aspects of one’s data. “Statistics are ways of organizing and evaluating quantitative data,” according to (Dugang 2020). To summarize and analyze data for his research, he used descriptive or summarizing statistics. The nominal, category, or classificatory level of measurement was chosen as a starting point.
3.6 RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY
Because no single strategy is completely appropriate for collecting data on the topic under inquiry, I employed a variety of approaches to evaluate data, allowing me to optimize validity and reliability. This was crucial in maintaining validity and dependability since it allowed for the confirmation of data from several sources and guaranteed that the shortcomings of one approach were offset by the benefits of another. Validity is defined by (Basson & Mestry 2019) as a determination of a measure’s suitability for specific inferences or conclusions based on scores generated. As a result, validity is determined by the measurement’s goal, population, and a contextual aspect. Validity is defined by (Freedman & Somech 2021) as the degree with which scientific explanations of phenomenon match the reality of the world. It relates to the veracity or untruth of research-generated propositions. Reliability and Validity are critical components of mixed-method research.
Validity is defined as “consistency of measurements, or the level to which scores are identical across various forms of same measure or occasions of data collection” (Mosoge & Mataboge 2021). “Validity is an assessment of the applicability of a measurement for specific inference, assumptions, outcomes, and applications that come from the score that are obtained,” according to Muirhead et al. (2018). Validity, according to (Bush & Glover 2021), has assumed numerous shapes and is thus more than just a demonstration that a given instrument measurement what it claims to measure. In quantitative method, they believe that validity can be improved through purposeful sampling, use of appropriate methods, and appropriate statistical analysis of data.
Prior to the final collection of data, the survey was piloted in three schools, one secondary and two primary. There were questionnaires and interviews conducted. The same questionnaires and interviews were utilized as in the research. A letter was composed and sent to the Area manager seeking permission to conduct the pilot research. The location and purpose of the piloting were among the specifics in the letter.
3.7 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Research Ethical considerations, according to Buthelezi (2021), refers to the moral components of research — what is good and wrong while conducting research. Because scientific evidence is an aspect of human behaviour, (Bhengu & Blose 2022) argues that such conduct must adhere to universally accepted standards and values. The researcher adopted the following three basic criteria, which were originally described in The Educational Report and form the internationally acknowledged basis for research ethics, to ensure conformity with fundamental research ethics standards:
- Respect for people- the researcher is obliged to ensuring that study subjects’ autonomy is protected, and that where autonomy is threatened, people are protected from being exploited because of their fragility.
- Beneficence—in this case, the researcher minimized the dangers of study, such as social and psychological risks, while maximizing the gains to study subjects.
- Justice- the researcher pledged to ensure that the benefits and risks of study are distributed fairly.
3.7.1. INFORMED VOLUNTARY CONSENT
“Informed consent is a strategy for making sure that participants know what it means to engage in a certain research project so that they may decide in a conscientious, deliberate manner whether or not they wish to join,” according to an online search. It’s among the most crucial instruments for ensuring that people are treated with respect during study (Doblinger 2022). The researcher’s first task in attempting to gain consent would have been to inform the subjects about the study in a way that they could understand. This was accomplished through a set of meetings held involving principals of the selected schools, during which the research was explained.
Questions looking for clarity were accepted. Principals promised during these sessions to share the information with their colleagues SMT representatives and teachers during their briefings sessions at their individual schools, where interested persons will be selected. This was accomplished successfully (evidence is the feedback obtained from schools). Authorization was also requested from the Guangdong Department of Education’s head of research directorate to legalize the entire procedure. The people who would eventually make up the study’s sample was asked for verbal agreement and the study’s process was outlined to them. This study’s subjects were not compelled to take part.
Conversation is a social process that necessitates reciprocity. In other words, when researchers collect a lot of data from participants, they may feel compelled to “provide” equivalent data in return. Researchers are no exception. Individuals enjoy sharing on what they overhear and learn. Before data gathering could begin and specific protection mechanisms put in place, the researcher carefully assessed whether or not to breach respondents’ privacy in any way. The ethical considerations that are critical are confidentiality, trust, and privacy (Heystek 2022). Closed-door interviews were used to keep them going. According to the constitution’s mandates, the researcher was required to respect the participants’ rights and protections.
3.7.3 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
One limitation identified was that some schools found it difficult to return the answered questionnaires on time. Only 32 of the 39 schools that were initially sampled returned the filled questionnaire. The majority of respondents were apprehensive about using audio and video records. As a result, the researcher was not able to make use of these resources.
3.8. CHAPTER SUMMARY
The research technique used to investigate collaborative activities in a sample of secondary schools in Guangdong, China was covered in this section. The data collection strategies utilized in this investigation were appropriate. The research strategy, method, data collecting, and processing processes were all covered in depth in this chapter. The mixed research method integrated the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative approaches in order to address the research objectives. The research’s participant sampling, surveys, and interview methods were all equally appropriate. The reliability and validity of the measurement instruments were also discussed. The chapter also discussed ethical considerations that were made to ensure that the participants’ rights were not contravened and the study facts. The next chapter will go through data analysis.