«by SILVIA GONAONE MAKGONE submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of MAGISTER TECHNOLOGIAE in the subject HUMAN RESOURCE ...»
disprove the formulated hypothesis, which is:
Instructional leadership in three poor performing Omaheke Schools determines academic achievement of the learners H0 There is no relationship between instructional leadership of a principal and academic achievement of the learners H1 There is a positive relationship between instructional leadership of a principal and academic achievement of the learners H2 There is a significant difference in the principal’s instructional leadership behaviour as perceived by teachers and inspectors H0 There is no significant difference in the principal’s instructional leadership behaviour as perceived by teachers and inspectors
3.3 Research Design
A research design is the plan according to which we obtain research participants (subjects) and collect information from them (Welman& Kruger, 2001). It is further
stated that in the research design we have to specify:
• the number of groups that should be used,
• whether the groups are to be drawn randomly from the populations involved; and whether they should be assigned randomly to groups;
• what exactly should be done with them in the case of experimental research.
For Punch (2005:62) research design means “all the issues involved in planning and executing a research project – from identifying the problem through to reporting and publishing the results”.
The identification of continuous poor academic performance of secondary schools in the Omaheke region prompted the undertaking of this study. Through literature review in chapter two, the pivotal role of leadership in achieving performance excellence was highlighted and cannot be underestimated.
The research is thus conducted in three poor performing schools of Omaheke Region and assesses whether instructional leadership is present in those schools and whether it has any contribution to the academic performance of learners.
The research design will thus explore the relationship between the independent variable “instructional leadership” as demonstrated by the three principals and the dependent variable “academic performance” as demonstrated by the learners under supervision of those principals.
Academic performance in this research refers to the end of year academic results of the school and more specifically the Grade 10 external examination results, as all the three schools identified for the research do have Junior Secondary Phase.
The research instrument which will be used is a structured self-administered questionnaire, consisting of both closed and open-ended questions. This allows for quantitative and qualitative data analysis to test the hypothesis that there is a significant relationship between the two indicated variables.
The whole population (teachers) of the three schools will assess the principal’s leadership within the relevant school and no sampling will take place. All teachers in the three schools were expected to complete the self-administered questionnaire.
According to Hallinger & Murphy (1987) questionnaires may be a quick and dirty way to generate assessment data. But they are convenient, since it generally takes less time to complete and score them than to conduct a single observation.
The questionnaire to be completed will not take more than ten minutes and fits the last statement.
Questions from the existing questionnaire of the “Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS)” on instructional leadership as developed by Hallinger & Murphy (1982) provides a basis to the questions which were adapted for use to determine if instructional leadership does exist within the three Omaheke schools.
The questionnaire has 30 questions, to be completed by teachers assessing the principals of the three schools on specific practices and behaviours for both accountability and professional improvement purposes. The inspectors are also expected to complete a questionnaire of 20 questions, assessing the principals on the practices and behaviours relevant to their job. A score will be generated across all the respondents for instructional leadership per job function to enable an analysis of the correlation between instructional leadership as perceived by the teachers and the inspector at each school.
3.4 The research instrument
The chosen research instrument to test the hypothesis is a survey instrument administered to teachers, principals and inspectors. The research was intended to assess the instructional leadership of the principal and how it contributes to academic performance of the learners.
The research instrument utilised is the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS) developed by Dr. Philip Hallinger in 1982. According to Hallinger& Murphy (1987:59) the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS) is a questionnaire instrument that can be used to assess the principal’s instructional leadership behaviour. They argue that the principal’s role comprises three dimensions of instructional leadership activity, namely, a) defining the school mission, b) managing the instructional programme, and c) promoting the school learning climate.
It should be borne in mind that role in this setting refers to the usual functions of the principal that includes all his/her responsibilities. These roles are also referred to as job functions, which the principal will be assessed on to determine his/her instructional leadership. Dimension on the other hand refers to a certain specific aspect of this role, as set out in figure 2.3 Each of the three dimensions contains specific job functions, and each job function includes avariety of the principal’s practices and behaviours that can lead to the success of the school if properly administered. Practices and behaviours refer to the leadership tasks in which a certain function is divided into.
The original PIMRS instrument as developed by Hallinger consists of 50 behavioural statements that describe the principal’s job practices and behaviours. For this survey, the researcher identified two job functions for each dimension as depicted in table3.1
The researcher identified only two job functions per dimension, as some job functions for example coordinate the curriculum, does not entirely occur under the principal’s jurisdiction within the Namibian situation. There are five behavioural statements per six job functions which give a total of 30 questions that the principal is to be assessed on (Appendix A). Some of the practices and behaviours are adapted to suit the Namibian situation.
The PIMRS Teacher Questionnaire consists of two parts. Part A that asks the teacher to answer questions to gather descriptive data. Part B is a four-point Likert Scale which consists of 30 questions used to provide a profile of the principal according to the teacher’s perception. Answers are recorded on the four-point Likert Scale from 1 = Almost never, to 4 = Almost always.
Four-point and five-point rating scales are very popular with educational researchers and have been shown to work quite well (Johnson & Christensen, 2004:171). They also stated that research has also shown that omitting the middle alternative does not appreciably affect the overall pattern of results and it is why the researcher chose to use a four-point scale in this survey.
The PIMRS Inspector’s questions are identical to Part B of the teacher’s questionnaire and consists of 20 questions ( Appendix B). The inspectors’ questions assess only four job functions of five statements each, as some job functions do not fall under the inspectors’ scope of daily function.
The PIMRS can also be administered to a principal as a self-assessment instrument as well as to supervisors and teachers to provide a broader picture of the principal’s leadership. The principals in this survey will not do the self-assessment but they will only complete a questionnaire that consists of descriptive questions (Appendix C). The researcher included the inspectors in the study to get an external perspective on the leadership profile of the principal.
The researcher also administered face to face interviews with the members of the School Management and also requested some materials to verify some data that would come up during the survey, because according to Punch (1998:174) interview is a very good way of accessing people’s perceptions, meanings, definitions of situations and constructions of reality. When an instrument or assessment procedure is used, the two important psychometric properties to consider are reliability and validity. Reliability refers to the consistency or stability of a set of test scores (Johnson & Christensen, 2001).
Punch (2005:95) agrees with Johnson & Christensen that reliability means consistency, but he further states that consistency has two main aspects, which is consistency over time (stability) and internal consistency.
According to Hallinger & Murphy (1987:60) at least three studies (Hallinger 1983, Hallinger and Murphy 1985, Krug 1986, O”Day 1984) have found the PIMRS to provide data on the principal instructional leadership that meet both legal and professional standards of reliability and validity.
Hallinger (as cited by Lyons, 2010:36) mentioned that the PIMRS instrument has been used in 119 other research studies since its development in 1982. The latter mentioned serves as assurance of the validity and reliability of the instrument and that the researcher can draw meaningful and useful inferences from scores on the instrument.
3.5 Sampling method
According to Gorard (2001) the main reason that samples are used is to save time and money for the researcher. Sampling is a useful short cut, leading to results that can be almost as accurate as those for a full census of the population being studied but for a fraction of the cost. The population to be surveyed is as follows, school A has 12 teachers, school B has 21 teachers, while school C has 13 teachers that give a total of 46 teachers. The researcher does not see the size of the population as impractical or uneconomical and has the intention to involve all the members of the population in the research project.
The possibility of some teachers not being present due to unforeseen circumstances is taken into account and the researcher is of the opinion that 80% of teachers per school completing the questionnaire will still represent the population. Based on the aforementioned it is obvious that sampling techniques and methods will not be used to establish representation of a larger population.
3.6 Data collection The main data collection tool was the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS) which is a questionnaire instrument that can be used to assess principal instructional leadership behaviour.
The questionnaire consists of Part A descriptive questions and part B, six job functions and each job function contains a representative sample of critical behavioural statements. The respondents indicate the degree to which they perceive the principal has performed a particular practice over the year.
Punch (2005) is of the opinion that interview is a very good way of accessing people’s perceptions, meanings, definitions of situations and constructions of reality. The researcher also found it necessary to administer some interviews to collect data that would supplement what would come up during the questionnaires.
Hallinger & Murphy (1987) are of the opinion that the analysis of school documents as a method of generating data on principal instructional leadership is under utilised, although it is inadequate if used as a single method of assessment. Analysing school documents can provide a revealing picture of the principal’s concerns, priorities, and communication style. These include, analysing goal statements, newsletters, memos, bulletins, meeting minutes, and other school documents.
It is due to the above-mentioned that the researcher did interviews with the school management to find out more on the school improvement plan and documentary proof of meetings and other relevant material.
According to Punch (2005) the researcher should stay in control of the data collection procedure, rather than leave it to others or to chance. This statement by Punch 92005) encouraged the researcher to opt for being physically present at the research site to distribute the questionnaires and collect them after completion. The questionnaire return rate increases as a result of researcher’s presence.
Confidentiality was maintained during the data collection process as no respondent was required to use any form of identification, except the school’s name, on the questionnaire.
3.7 Data capturing Each respondent’s scores will be calculated as per job function and then all the respondents’ scores will be calculated together as per job function. A mean of the total scores will be calculated to get a score to represent each school’s response per job function.
The researcher will use Excel spreadsheet to enter the data per job function for each school. The data on the spreadsheets was codified and transferred on the computer chart statistical analysis. Punch (2005) sees coding as analysis on the one hand and as the specific and concrete activity which starts the analysis, on the other hand.
The coding in this study will be numeric as the program works with numbers. After the coding, two graphs will be drawn to depict the profile of the principal as assessed by the teachers and inspectors as per job function. Another graph will be drawn, depicting results of all six job functions calculated across the three schools to allow comparison of the assessment of the principals’ profile.
3.8 Data analysis
The questionnaire is composed of different items and the analysis will follow the procedure of item by item analysis. Other items on the questionnaire were descriptive in nature and thus a simple descriptive analysis will also be done. Punch (2005) states that, the benefit of descriptive analysis is that it keeps the researcher close to the data;
and understands the distribution of each variable across the survey respondents.