Principals' distributed leadership behaviors and their impact on student achievement in selected elementary schools in Texas
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Educators are frequently faced with the challenges of politics, hostility, selfishness, and violence; it is unwise to think that the principal is the only one providing leadership for school improvement. Thus a distributed perspective of leadership urges us to take leadership practice as the focus of interest and address both teachers and administrators as leaders. The purpose of this descriptive statistical study was to explore principals? leadership practices as perceived by teacher leaders and its possible affect to student achievement. Data were collected by using the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) (self and observer) instrument (Kouzes & Posner, 2003) from all willing teacher leaders to determine the leadership practices of the principals in Region VI, Texas. Also, statewide assessment data available from three school years (2004-2006) were obtained from the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) report. In order to answer research questions one to four, descriptive statistics including frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation were calculated for the LPI results. The distributed framework offers considerable influence for studying leadership as a schoolwide rather than individual practice. Based on the literature, six conclusions were drawn and recommendations were made regarding practice, future study and policy. First, the findings indicated that principals? collaborative working style with teacher leaders seems to have positive impact on student achievement. Second, failing to enlist teacher leaders in a common vision might have a negative affect on student academic performance. Third, the perceptions of teacher leaders in School 7, School 5 and School 16 reflected a need for the principal to take challenges and seek challenging opportunities to change and grow. Fourth, recognizing teacher leaders? contributions and celebrating team accomplishments is likely to have a positive and indirect impact on school academic performance. Fifth, schools that had higher principal self and observer LPI scores tended to have better TAKS scores. Last, the findings from the study complement studies of the effects of site-based management teams. The positive impact of ?Enabling Others to Act? and ?Inspiring a Shared Vision? on student achievement implies that distributed leadership is most likely to contribute to school improvement and to build school capacity for improvement.