The principal’s role in managing curriculum change: Implications for the provision of quality education

Vanitha Govindasamy, Raj Mestry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Drawing mainly on Lewin’s 3-Phase Process of Change framework, in the study reported on here we explored the role of principals in facilitating curriculum reforms. A case study design within an interpretivist paradigm was employed to determine the experiences and perceptions of principals, school management teams (SMTs) and teachers of how principals managed curriculum changes in their schools. Change is deemed a necessary and significant component of educational praxis. Principals, as instructional leaders, are compelled to be the driving force in managing curriculum reforms, ensuring that changes are conscientiously aligned to high learner achievement. Data were gathered through personal and focus-group interviews using a purposeful sample comprising of 4 principals, 13 SMT members and 9 teachers. Findings reveal that principals were not directly involved in the facilitation of curriculum changes but delegated this to deputy principals and heads of departments. For SMTs and principals to effectively manage curriculum changes, a collaborative culture must exist in schools. It is recommended that principals should make a paradigm shift by placing high priority to the procurement of adequate resources, providing support and development to teachers, and keeping abreast with latest trends in teaching. This approach will result in high learner achievement and educational standards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2294
JournalSouth African Journal of Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • collaborative cultures
  • curriculum change
  • distributive leadership
  • instructional leadership
  • management
  • professional development
  • school management team

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'The principal’s role in managing curriculum change: Implications for the provision of quality education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this