«by SILVIA GONAONE MAKGONE submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of MAGISTER TECHNOLOGIAE in the subject HUMAN RESOURCE ...»
Each of the levels represents increasingly complex and effective principalship behaviours. The four levels are set out in Table 2.1 with a short clarification on how they contribute to the effectiveness of a principal.
According to Sergiovanni, what administrators do at level one is not necessarily ineffective, only less effective than the other three levels if this behaviour pattern is dominant. Humanitarians at level two carry with them some of the Administrator’s style but focus primarily on more complex behaviors that emphasize human relationships.
Although Humanitarians are more effective than Administrators, they are not as effective as Program Managers.
Program Managers bring aspects of Administrators and Humanitarian style to their practice but focus primarily on more complex matters of educational programme development and implementation. Finally the Systematic Problem Solvers focus primarily on students’ success.
Taking the levels in cognisance, we can concur with the following description of Bath (as cited by Sergiovanni, 2001:100) “The principal is ultimately responsible for almost everything that happens in and out of school. We are responsible for personnel-making sure that employees are physically present and working to the best of their ability. We are in charge of program-making sure that, teachers are teaching what they are supposed to and that children are learning it. We are accountable to parent-making sure that each is given an opportunity to express problems and that those problems are addressed and resolved. We are expected to protect the physical safety of children-making sure that the several hundred lively organisms who leave each morning return, equally lively, in the afternoon”.
The citation shows the holistic task of a school principal and to accomplish all that, it is believed that the principal should possess certain qualities or should have a certain leadership style to help him through the complicated task.
2.5 Leadership styles Quite a number of literature is available on the different leadership styles but only a few of them are available on the differential effects of leadership types on student outcomes.
For this study the focus is on the transformational and the instructional leadership types because they dominate the empirical research on educational leadership.
2.5.1 Transformational leadership style
“Transformation” is a term used in reference to the need for changing assumptions and developing common goals and directions. Strategic planning makes this transformation possible. It helps people to see how today’s realities cannot be understood with yesterday’s assumptions (McCune 1986:63).
Burns (as cited by Kawana, 2007) believes that the essence of transformational leadership lies in the leader having a vision for the organisation and sharing it with the followers. He further argues that transformational leaders are individuals who appeal to higher ideals and moral values, such as justice and equality, and that transformational leadership can be found at various levels of an organisation.
According to Northouse (as cited by Sinvula, 2009:18) a transformational leader has the
• Empowers followers to do what is best for the organisation
• Is a strong role model with high values
• Listens to all viewpoints to develop a spirit of cooperation
• Creates a vision, using people in the organisation
• Acts as a change agent within the organisation by setting an example of how to initiate and implement change
• Helps the organisation by helping others contribute to the organisation.
Robinson et al., (2008:639) define transformational leadership as:
“Transformational leadership focuses on problem finding, problem solving, and collaboration with stakeholders with the goal of improving organisational performance” It can be detected from the above descriptions that transformational leaders, are leaders that are not satisfied with the status quo or conditions in which they find themselves, and therefore have as an objective to bring about change through influencing and inspiring all in the organisation (the school) to commit them to the identified vision of academic achievement.
2.5.2 Instructional leadership style
Instructional leadership, developed during the effective schools movement of the 1980s, viewed the principal as the primary source of educational expertise. Aimed at standardising the practice of effective teaching, the principal’s role was to maintain high expectations for teachers and students, supervise classroom instruction, coordinate the school’s curriculum, and monitor student progress (Marks & Printy, 2003) Murphy (as cited by Marks & Printy, 2003) narrowly defined instructional leadership, as leadership functions that directly relate to teaching and learning. Donmoyer & Wagstaff, Murphy (as cited by Marks & Printy, 2003) further stated that, in a broader view, instructional leadership also refers to all other functions that contribute to student learning including managerial behaviours.
Through research on instructional leadership, it is noted that principals in productive schools, that is - schools where the quality of teaching and learning were strong – demonstrated instructional leadership both directly and indirectly. Four sets of activities
with implications for instruction were emphasised in these schools, namely:
To strengthen the aforementioned, Barth (as cited by Robinson et al., 2008) states that instructional leadership is aimed at standardising the practice of effective teaching, the principal’s role was to maintain high expectations for teachers and students, supervise classroom instruction, coordinate the school’s curriculum, and monitor student progress.
According to Hallinger (2005) instructional leaders were goal-oriented. As leaders they were able to define a clear direction for the school and motivate others to join in its achievement. In instructionally effective schools, this direction focused primarily on the improvement of student academic outcomes. The effective instructional leader was able to align the strategies and activities of the school with the school’s academic mission.
Instructional leadership was initially assumed to be the responsibility of the principal, and neglected the contribution of other staff to instructional goal setting, oversight of the teaching programmes, and the development of a positive academic and learning culture. It is only later that the ‘shared instructional leadership’ was understood as to involve the active collaboration of principal and teachers on curriculum, instruction, and assessment (Marks & Printy, 2003). According to Hallinger (2005:11) the model of instructional leadership proposed by Hallinger and Murphy (1985) is the model that has been used most frequently in empirical investigations. This model, similar in many respects to the others proposes three dimensions for the instructional leadership role of
1. Defining the School’s Mission
2. Managing the Instructional Program; and
3. Promoting a Positive School Learning Climate These three dimensions are further delineated into instructional leadership functions, as depicted in figure 2.3
Figure 2.3 Instructional Leadership Framework Source: Instructional Leadership and the School Principal: A Passing Fancy that Refuses to Fade Away.
Leadership and Policy in Schools (p5) by Hallinger, P., 2005.
Two functions, Framing the School’s goals and Communicating the School’s Goals, comprise the first dimension, Defining the School’s Mission. This dimension concerns the principal’s role in determining the central purposes of the school. The dimension focuses on the principal’s role in working with staff to ensure that the school has clear, measurable, time-based goals focused on the academic progress of students. It is also the principal’s responsibility to communicate these goals so they are widely known and supported throughout the school community (Hallinger, 2005:5).
The second dimension, Managing the Instructional Program, focuses on the coordination and control of instruction and curriculum. According to Hallinger (2005) this dimension incorporates three leadership functions: Supervising and evaluating Instruction, Coordinating the Curriculum, and Monitoring Student Progress. Hallinger and Murphy (1987) on which the instructional leadership is based, includes a fourth function namely, Knows Curriculum and Instruction.
This dimension requires the principal to be deeply engaged in stimulating, supervising, and monitoring teaching and learning in the school. Obviously, these functions demand that the principal has expertise in teaching and learning, as well as a commitment to the school’s improvement (Hallinger, 2005:6).
The third dimension, Promoting a Positive School Learning Climate, includes several functions: Protecting Instructional Time, Promoting Professional Development, Maintaining High Visibility, Providing Incentives for Teachers, Developing High Expectations and Standards, and Providing Incentives for Learning. This dimension is broader in scope and purposes than the other two. It conforms to the notion that effective schools create an “academic press” through the development of high standards and expectations for students and teachers (Hallinger, 2005:6).
To assess the principal’s instructional leadership, Hallinger, and Murphy (1985), developed an instrument the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS), that will be discussed in detail in chapter 3. According to Hallinger and Murphy (1987:60) principals who obtain high ratings across the various job functions are perceived as engaging in instructional leadership behaviours associated with principals in effective schools.
Other findings from similar efforts to establish links between what principals do, as instructional leaders and school outcomes are as stated by Heck (1992:29) that:
“Heck, Marcoulides, and Lang (1991) were able to classify correctly by achievement 77% of the sample schools according to a similar model of principal instructional leadership. Heck, (1991) also was able to classify correctly 77% of a random sample of high- and low- achieving secondary schools in Singapore according to the school’s climate, teacher expectations, and the instructional leadership profile of the principal” It can be concluded that the above-mentioned results and others have focused on the principal as well as the classroom behaviour of teachers providing the needed empirical support for the belief that school variables, including principal instructional leadership, are predictive of the school’s academic outcomes.
After discussion of the two leadership styles, it is therefore reasonable to deduce that transformational leadership puts emphasis on investigating any process and bringing in the needed change. Instructional leadership on the other side puts emphasis on bringing about change in the instructional process to get the required results.
Instructional leadership is thus a way of bringing in transformation. It is thus right to agree with Marks & Printy (2003:376) that, when principals who are transformational leaders accept their instructional role and exercise it in collaboration with teachers, they practise an integrated form of leadership.
2.5.3 The impact of transformational and instructional leadership on student performance Some literature although few, shows that there is interest in the question of how educational leaders influence a range of student outcomes. Qualitative research done supported the idea that school leaders make a considerable difference to student outcomes, school effectiveness and improvement; while, the quantitative evidence for the impact of leadership conceptualised the relationship between leadership and student outcomes as indirect, with leaders establishing the conditions, through which teachers make a more direct impact on students. (Robinson et al., 2008) It is due to the mentioned contradiction between qualitative and quantitative evidence as stated above, that Robinson et al., (2008); Marks & Printy, (2003) focused on the type of leadership and its impact on student performance, and through review of research came
up with the following results:
• Principals with instructional leadership demonstrated both direct and indirect effects on student achievement through school governance, instructional organization, and school climate (Marks & Printy, 2003).
• To improve organisational performance, transformational school leaders focus on the individual and collective understandings, skills, and commitments of teachers (Marks & Printy, 2003).
• Although transformational principals can enhance student engagement in learning, studies have not shown any direct effects on student achievement (Marks & Printy, 2003).
• The leadership of high performing schools was reported to be, among other things, more focused on teaching and learning, to be a stronger instructional resource for teachers, and to be more active participants and leaders of teacher learning and development (Robinson et al., 2008).
• The impact of instructional leadership on student outcomes is notably greater than that of transformational leadership (Robinson, et al., 2008).
• The comparison between instructional and transformational leadership showed that the impact of the former is three to four times that of the latter. The reason is that transformational leadership is more focused on the relationship between leaders and followers than on the educational work of school leadership, and the quality of these relationships is not predictive of the quality of student outcomes (Robinson et al., 2008).
It is therefore proper to conclude that an “integrated” form of leadership, incorporating a strong capacity for developing shared instructional leadership combined with qualities associated with transformational leadership, is the best predictor of the intellectual quality of student outcomes.