Followership and sustainability of school leadership for Science and Mathematics: A distributive perspective

  • Maria Tsakeni University of the Free State
  • Loyiso Jita University of the Free State
Keywords: role of followership, secondary school Science and Mathematic


In leadership-followership relationships, roles are exchangeable, portraying followers as co-constructors of school leadership processes. Leadership literature largely focuses on the effectiveness of leaders and neglects the role of followership. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of followership in the construction of leadership processes for secondary school Science and Mathematics. We used a narrative inquiry in the form of a single school case study purposefully selected for being a top performing school in Physical Sciences and Mathematics. Narratives were elicited from seven participants who included positional leaders and teachers. Follower role identities and the leader-follower trade (LFT) were used as conceptual frameworks. An active follower role identity enabled teachers to co-construct and sustain leadership processes for Science and Mathematics. Significant teaching experience, subject expertise and proven records of good results in learner attainments activated the identity. The teachers co-constructed and sustained leadership processes for Science and Mathematics through participative leadership, continuous teacher learning and classroom practice.

Author Biographies

Maria Tsakeni, University of the Free State
Loyiso Jita, University of the Free State
Research Articles