Research Entities


The central scholarly focus of the Unit is on human rights praxis and implementations in education, with a variety of sub-foci as portrayed by the six project groups:

  • Legal Perspectives in Education
  • Human Rights Education in Diversity
  • Social Justice, Religion and Spiritual Capital
  • Social Justice in Education
  • Public Schooling in Diversity
  • Discipline in Education Institutions


What is SDL? “In its broadest meaning self-directed learning describes a process by which individuals take the initiative, with or without the assistance of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes” (Knowles, 1975)



The Education and Leadership Research Unit (Edu-Lead) was established in 2017 in the Faculty of Education of the NWU. The central scholarly focus of the entity is on leadership at all levels of the education system, with a variety of sub-foci as portrayed by the five project groups:

  • Turnaround strategies at poor-performing secondary schools: Lessons from success cases in historically disadvantaged areas;
  • Promotion of healthy schools in South African schools;
  • The influence of principal leadership styles, school management structures, moral leadership and contextual determinants on a positive school climate;
  • Leadership accountability of principals towards improved quality education (results) in secondary schools;
  • Understanding leadership for and during school change and development in challenging formerly deprived South African context