Head of Department - Humanities and Social Science

African Leadership Academy

African Leadership Academy

Johannesburg, South Africa
Posted on Tuesday, July 4, 2023


Since 2008, African Leadership Academy (ALA) has sought to identify, develop, and connect the most promising young leaders on the African continent. Our learning community serves 260 young leaders aged 16-19. Students spend two years at the academy engaging with the knowledge, skills, habits, and mindsets that will accelerate their trajectories of ethical and effective leadership. ALA is a learning community committed to leadership development through authentic practice, academic rigor, and intentional community. ALA also seeks to become a learning organization, invested in deliberate continuous improvement.

ALA is seeking a Head of Department for Humanities & Social Sciences to join the academic leadership team. At this exciting time in our journey, the Head of Department will build on the progress we have made towards creating a robust, rigorous, and aligned curriculum that offers students a meaningful and effective learning experience through the various Humanities, Social and Political sciences provided at the Academy.

The Head of Humanities and Social Sciences will spearhead the efforts to guide our educators in fostering the development of ethical African leaders. Together, this team will aim to instill critical thinking skills in our students, empowering them to analyse the world around them and make practical contributions to societal progress.

Teachers in the department curate rigorous learning experiences through the Cambridge Assessment International Education Humanities Curricula i.e., Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced Level History, Economics, Business Stuides, Geography, and Humanities Research (Cambridge International Project Qualification - IPQ). They also curate and develop internally designed African Studiess courses. The internally designed courses are tailored to enable students to cultivate an understanding of Africa’s past and present while creating a vision for Africa’s future. The courses offer a comprehensive and interdisciplinary experience via historical, economic, geographical, literary, and political lenses on African issues. Through the two-year program, students can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the African continent, including health care, social justice, and sustainability. They also undertake experiential projects simulating solutions to challenges or harnessing opportunities to accelerate the continent’s aspirations.

About the role

ALA’s curriculum seeks to enrich and accelerate leadership potential built on firm academic foundations. The HOD of Humanities & Social Sciences will ensure that rigorous standards are set for our internally developed courses and that students are challenged to develop their ability to think critically and analytically, create new knowledge and write clearly and logically.

ALA’s educational philosophy values authentic and experiential learning, enabled by a solid grasp of the requisite knowledge and skills. ALA faculty are passionate about their discipline and experts in their field. The HOD supports the development of teachers from a range of teaching, academic and professional backgrounds to design and facilitate a learning program grounded in best practice. The HOD works to foster a community of teachers in a department committed to the continuous improvement of our program.

Heads of Department at ALA lead the continuous development, review, and improvement of the academic program. They collaborate to define cross-disciplinary standards, gather to review student work and assessment data, and hold one another accountable for the learning outcomes which will enable ALA’s mission. HODs also steward the pedagogical and academic standards of ALA. Through lesson observation and regular discussion of best practice, HODs work with one another and with their teams to continuously improve learning outcomes.


As ALA is a boarding school, every faculty member is expected to participate holistically in the life of the community, within the classroom and beyond. In this vein, the HOD will:

  • Establish a vision for managing teaching and learning in the department.
  • Collaborate with other Heads of Department to engage with current research, articulate the Academy’s approach to teaching & learning and guide effective practice across the faculty.
  • Lead a team of faculty in the management, design, development, and continuous improvement of the African Studies Curriculum.
  • Coordinate a team of faculty in facilitating the delivery of AS/ A Level CAIE Humanities curricula in alignment with ALA’s Teaching and Learning principles.
  • Work with faculty 1:1 and in groups to set, pursue and evaluate professional development goals.
  • Teaching three courses six days per week to truly exceptional students from across Africa.
  • In liaison with the department, coordinate the programs and research projects under the department i.e., International Relations Council, Model African Union Research, Humanities Research, Afro-curation Program and Africa Day Project.
  • Serve as a faculty advisor for 6-8 students as they navigate a transformative journey of academic, personal, and social growth.
  • Contribute to student life and leadership learning by coaching student teams, clubs, or societies.

Competencies and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree in Humanities, Social & Political Sciences.
  • Experience in middle leadership, especially leading a humanities faculty is desired.
  • Successful prior experience in guiding colleagues in curriculum transformation and improvement of instructional practices preferred.
  • Experience of teaching CAIE A-level or IB is an added advantage.
  • Have a minimum 5-years teaching experience.
  • Strong track record of working with young people towards challenging learning aims.

Location: ALA Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa

Reports to: Director of Teaching and Learning

Expected start date: January 2024 or earlier