The Contribution of Education for Sustainable Development to Transformational Leadership among Selected Namibian School Principals


There is a growing interest among educational leaders in Namibia to promote transformational leadership in schools. The aim of this paper is to report on the contribution of education for sus-tainable development to transformational leadership among school principals in Namibian schools. The results of the study show that education for sustainable development can be seen as a tool to promote transformational leadership because it provides an opportunity for the sharing of responsibilities, opening communication channels, and achieving change in terms of leadership as well as managing personal hygiene by learners and the wider community. The results also show that the contribution of education for sustainable development to transformational leadership is challenged by the fact that education for sustainable development is a new concept. This shows a lack of awareness, a lack of parental involvement, and a lack of teamwork and unavailability of funding. This study shows the need to run training and awareness programmes by positioning education for sustainable development at the interface of self-leadership strategies and components of transformational leadership. It also indicates that school principals need to be provided with the skills required to implement education for sustainable development. The Namibian environmental education/education for sustainable development policy and related strategy must be aligned to address the roles and responsibilities of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Environment, other ministries and departments, and civil society and private actors who have a stake in education for sustainable development. The rewarding of committed environmental clubs and associations is also recommended. These directions should be incorporated as a non-negoti- able aspect for the contribution of education to sustainable development and transformational leadership in Namibian schools.

Share and Cite:

Kanyimba, A. , Katewa, E. and Claassen, P. (2015) The Contribution of Education for Sustainable Development to Transformational Leadership among Selected Namibian School Principals. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 3, 186-196. doi: 10.4236/jss.2015.33028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Bass, B.M. (1999) Two Decades of Research and Development in Transformational Leadership. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8, 9-32.
[2] Burns, J.M. (1978) Leadership. Harper and Row, New York.
[3] Piccolo, R.F. and Colquitt, J.A. (2006) Transformational Leadership and Job Behaviors: The Mediating Role of Core Job Characteristics. Academy of Management Journal, 49, 327-340.
[4] Gronn, P. (1995) Greatness Revisited: The Current Obsession with Transformational Leadership. Leading and Managing, 1, 14-27.
[5] Marks, H.M. and Printy, M.S. (2003) Principal Leadership and School Performance: An Integration of Transformational and Instructional Leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 39, 370-397.
[6] Fernandes, C. and Awamleh, R. (2007) The Impact of Transformational and Transactional Leadership Styles on Employee’s Satisfaction and Performance: An Empirical Test in a Multicultural Environment. International Business & Economics Research Journal, 3, 65-76.
[7] Wang, G., Oh, I., Courtright, S.H. and Colbert, A.E. (2011) Transformational Leadership and Performance across Criteria and Levels: A Meta-Analytic Review of 25 Years of Research. Group & Organization Management, 36, 223-270.
[8] Hoffman, B.J., Bynum, B.H., Piccolo, R.F. and Sutton, A.W. (2011) Person-Organization Value Congruence: How Transformational Leaders Influence Work Group Effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 54, 779-796.
[9] Vinger, G. and Cillier, S. (2006) Effective Transformational Leadership Behaviours for Managing Change. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 4, 1-9.
[10] Birasnav, M., Rangnekar, S. and Dalpati, A. (2011) Transformational Leadership and Human Capital Benefits: The Role of Knowledge Management. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 32, 106-126.
[11] Nash, S.D. (2012) What Makes a Transformational Education Leader? An Investigation into the Antecedent Experiences of k-12 Transformational Leadership. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis, Montana State University, Bozeman.
[12] Callow, N. (2011) Transformational Leadership in Higher Education Resource Guide.
[13] Auala, R., Mushaandja, J. and Amukugo, E. (2011) Managing Change: Advanced Diploma in Educational Leadership and Management. Centre for External Studies, Windhoek.
[14] Leithwood, K. (2007) Transformational School Leadership in a Transactional Policy World. In: Jossey-Bass, Ed., Jossey-Bass Reader on Educational Leadership, John Wiley & Sons, San Francisco, 183-196.
[15] Hallinger, P. (2003) Leading Educational Change: Reflections on the Practice of Instructional and Transformational Leadership. Cambridge Journal of Education, 33, 329-352.
[16] Goddard, J. (2003) Leadership in the (Post) Modern Era. In: Bennett, B. and Anderson, L., Eds., Rethinking Educational Leadership, Sage, Thousand Oaks, 11-26.
[17] Sipos, Y., Battisti, B. and Grimm, K. (2008) Achieving Transformative Sustainability Learning: Engaging Head, Hands and Heart. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9, 68-86.
[18] Mihelcic, J.R., Phillips, L.D. and Watkins Jr., D.W. (2006) Integrating a Global Perspective into Education and Research: Engineering International Sustainable Development. Environmental Engineering Science, 23, 426-438.
[19] Yun, S., Cox, J., Henry, P. and Sims Jr., H.P. (2006) The Forgotten Follower: A Contingency Model of Leadership and Follower Self-Leadership. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21, 374-388.
[20] Bligh, M.C., Pearce, C.L. and Kohles, J.C. (2006) The Importance of Self- and Shared Leadership in Team Based Knowledge Work: A Meso-Level Model of Leadership Dynamics. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21, 296-318.
[21] Houghton, J.D. and Yoho, S.K. (2006) Toward a Contingency Model of Leadership and Psychological Empowerment: When Should Self-Leadership Be Encouraged? Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 11, 66-83.
[22] Eagly, A.H., Johannesen-Schmidt, M.C. and Van Engen, M.L. (2003) Transformational, Transactional, and Laissez- Faire Leadership Styles: A Meta-Analysis Comparing Women and Men. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 569-591.
[23] Wilson, E. (2009) School Based Research: A Guide for Education Students. SAGE, London.
[24] Creswell, J.W. (2012) Educational Research: Planning, Conduction and Evaluation Quantitative and Qualitative Research. 4th Edition, Pearson, London.
[25] Cohen, L., Marion, L. and Morrison, K. (2011) Research Methods in Education. 7th Edition, Routledge, London.
[26] Neuman, W.L. (2011) Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 7th Edition, Pearson, Boston.
[27] Ary, D., Jacobs, L.C., Sorensen, C.K. and Walker, D. (2014) Introduction to Research in Education. 9th Edition, Wadsworth, London.
[28] Fullan, M. (2004) Prepared for Hot Seat, Urban Leadership Community, England. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto.
[29] Lozano, R. (2006) Incorporation and Institutionalization of SD into Universities: Breaking through Barriers to Change. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14, 787-796.
[30] Ferrer-Balas, D., Adachi, J., Banas, S., Davidson, C.L., Hoshikoshi, A., Mishra, A., Motodoa, Y., Onga, M. and Ostwald, M. (2008) An International Comparative Analysis of Sustainability Transformation across Seven Universities. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9, 295-316.
[31] Velazquez, L., Munguia, N. and Sanchez, M. (2005) Deterring Sustainability in Higher Education Institutions. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 6, 383-391.
[32] Scott, W. (2002) Education and Sustainable Development: Challenges, Responsibilities, and Frames of Mind. The Trumpeter Journal of Ecosophy, 18, 101-112.
[33] Crossan, M., Vera, D. and Nanjad, L. (2008) Transcendent Leadership: Strategic Leadership in Dynamic Environments. The Leadership Quarterly, 19, 569-581.
[34] Thomas, I. (2004) Sustainability in Tertiary Curricula: What Is Stopping It Happening? International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 5, 33-47.
[35] Namibia Government (2009) Education for Sustainable Development Strategy 2009-2014. Government of the Republic of Namibia, Windhoek.
[36] Shephard, K. (2008) Higher Education for Sustainability: Seeking Affective Learning Outcomes. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9, 87-98.
[37] Moore, J. (2005) Seven Recommendations for Creating Sustainability Education at the University Level: A Guide for Change Agents. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 6, 326-339.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.