Elementary Teachers' Perceptions of Instructional Leadership and Student Achievement



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This quantitative study has two purposes. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers? perceptions of principals? instructional leadership affects student achievement in Texas suburban elementary schools. The secondary purpose of the study was to learn whether school demographic variables or prior achievement predict the level of instructional leadership elementary school teachers report for their principals.

The primary outcome of instructional leadership was the achievement of fifth grade students who attended five select suburban elementary school districts in Texas for the 2011 ? 2012 school year. The data collected for this research examined the two-year performance of the fifth grade students on their Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills reading test. Data were also collected from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade elementary teachers who attended one of the 97 participating schools from the five school districts. The teachers completed a voluntary survey during a faculty meeting. The survey asked teachers to report their perceptions of instructional leadership.

The survey questions tapped four primary areas of instructional leadership: setting goals, providing professional development, monitoring and providing feedback, and establishing high standards. The main hypothesis was that instructional leadership would have a direct effect on student achievement.

A variety of statistical techniques, such as factor analysis and multilevel analyses, were utilized for this study. A factor analysis method was used to create a measure of degree for instructional leadership in schools and multiple regression methods were utilized to test the relationship between instructional leadership and school SES, ethnicity, and prior achievement.

This study found a modest direct relationship between instructional leadership and reading achievement. More specifically, teachers? perceptions of instructional leadership were a marginally statistically significant and positive predictor of between school variation in student achievement in reading. Additionally, the study revealed that the school socioeconomic status, ethnic composition, and prior achievement do not predict instructional leadership. Implications of the findings for future research and practice are discussed.