Year of grant:
Samfelag - COVID-19 verkætlan
Leiklutur og týdningur av stuðlandi leiðslu fyri lærarum í fólkaskúlanum í Covid-19 - tíðini.
Grant from the FRC in DKK:
Role and Significance of Leadership in Supporting Teachers in Faroese Compulsory Schools During Corona Crisis Background: The Corona crisis has so far had a significant impact on the educational system in The Faroe Islands. It has brought abrupt change to the teaching and learning environment of compulsory education schools requiring them to adapt to delivering different modes of education with no preparation. In lieu of well-planned and structured courses, they have now either gone online or adopted the home schooling model. This has been dictated by expediency and convenience and not grounded on informed decision making. This ad hoc situation is seldom seen in a school environment and must cause upheaval to all stake holders. Change cannot be incremental or anchored in this Covid-19 pandemic.This kind of unplanned radical change is a practice contrary to what educational organisations with their knowledgebased cultural complexity usually adopt. In this reality, the role of the school leaders in empowering their teachers to cope with sudden change and function optimally is crucial in mitigating their stress and promoting confidence in the leadership. The rarity of the situation brought about by external factors makes it ideal for research to explore to arrive at some conclusions to enable schoosl to cope with similar scenarios. Rationale School leadership must play a key role in actively guiding the schools in these difficult times. Authentic, inclusive and transparent leadership with clear lines of meaningful communication will contribute stability to the organisation. In crisis times, planning and implementation are near simultaneous instead of being sequential. Therefore, school principals, vice principals and head teachers must outline a clear emergency strategy in conjunction with teachers to empower teaching, which is the core competence of schools. To capture leadership behaviour in a moment of crisis and in context allows for a foundation on which to evaluate its robustness in compulsory schools. It is a unique opportunity to posit the capacity of Faroese schools to cope with such issues in the future. With education being a fundamental right of students, its role in the development of society and the strength of the nation cannot be exaggerated. It is during times of unplanned change like this that transformational leadership is required by leaders to craft a contingency management plan. School leaders have to deliver the aims and objectives laid down by the Ministry of Education with minimal negative consequences for all involved. Purpose of the study The study aims to: • Identify the challenges Faroese school leadership faces in coping with the sudden, unplanned Corona change. • Evaluate school leadership action in empowering teachers through transformational leadership. • Elicit and understand the challenges posed to teachers in this crisis situation. • Evaluate how well equipped Faroes schools are to cope with this alternative approach to teaching and future implications of Corona influence on education. Data collection A questionnaire with both quantitative and qualitative elements is in the process of being sent to school principals, vice principals and head teachers around The Faroe Islands. A purposive sample, with expert sampling, is being used to elicit the know how only the people involved have i.e., the particular expertise, which leaders have by virtue of being heads at this time. The lack of empirical evidence for education in this high uncertainity Corona environment requires eliciting information from school leaders to make sense of this situation. They are caught ‘in media res’ now, with no clear idea of when this situation will end. Their praxis will exhibit their attitude to change, and their leadership ability to cope and function for the good of the teachers and students. Leaders may have to demonstrate leadership skills differently from their norm with increased demands on their professional input. This may also be a source of stress and impact their efficiency and effectiveness. Hence, it is important that this project be conducted here and now to capture its many facets. This Corona time is distinctive in its influence in modern societies convinced of their invincibility. The results of the study will be made available to the public. The findings can be published in journals in any of the following fields of education: leadership, change management in schools and teacher and leadership resilience in times of change.