Headteachers working under conditions of severe hardship in Africa face tremendous challenges, often exacerbated by a sense of hopelessness and lack of agency to effect improvements within their school. This paper focuses on notions of ‘social justice’ within an African educational context and reports on a small-scale research project involving primary headteachers in Ghana and Tanzania engaging with Action Research in order to bring about changes which they feel will benefit pupil learning. The study presents some positive impacts generated by the headteachers’ actions and indicates ways in which these actions illustrate developments in areas of ‘social justice’ related to fairness, equity, recognition, and redistribution. The findings suggest that empowering headteachers through the use of Action Research can enable them to act creatively and positively for the benefit of pupils within their schools.
This paper was first presented at the 10th UKFIET International Conference, University of Oxford,15-17 September 2009. ISBN: 978-1-906675-21-9, 28 pp.