Change Laboratory Workshops as Tools for Improving Learner Leadership in Schools: A Researcher-Interventionist Approach
1Selma Ndeyapo Kandjengo,2Elock Emvula Shikalepo
1Senior Education Officer: Directorate of Adult Education Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Namibia
2Lecturer: Faculty of Education the International University of Management, Namibia

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The purpose of this study was to engage learners and teachers with the aim of developing leadership potential and improving the leadership capacity and capabilities of the learner leaders through mainly Change Laboratory Workshops, which were conducted with the Learner Representative Council (LRC) members, at a public secondary school in the Oshana Region, Namibia. The study was guided by the following main question: How can learner leadership structure be improved in schools? The researchers used a researcher-interventionist approach to implement measures for improving learner leadership, guided by the ideals of the Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT), as a theoretical lens through which the researchers made interventions for improving learner leadership at school. Empirically, the study made use of a qualitative research methodology carried out through a case study design. The population consisted of teachers and learners of the case study school. The data was collected by questionnaires, interviews, document analysis, observation and journaling. The data was analysed thematically, interpreted and discussed inductively.

Key findings reveals that even though the concept of learner leadership was familiar within the school environment, the concept was not optimally applied, which necessitated intervention for correct application and positive results. Change Laboratory workshops provided ideal opportunities through which learner leaders were engaged to map out the challenges they were faced with and advancing policy proposals for improvement. Learner leaders were open to reveal the support they were not receiving from teachers and appealed on teachers to provide much needed support. This is in addition to a need for teachers to make follow-ups on matters reported to them by learner leaders in order to instill confidence and trust among learner leaders. It is recommended that researchers in the field of leadership especially with focus on young leaders should always model their research on researcher interventionist approach in order to help improve the quality of young leaders in schools.


Learner leadership, Learner representative council, Leadership, Management, learner voice, learner leader, Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT), Change Laboratory Workshop (CLW), Researcher-Interventionist Approach


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