Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Carleton R. Holt

Committee Member

Charlene Johnson-Carter

Second Committee Member

Felicia Lincoln

Keywords

Education; Collaboration; Leadership styles; Student performance; Teacher empowerment; Teacher motivation

Abstract

The goal of this study was to examine whether the leadership style of principals affects teacher and student performance. The study includes an elementary, middle, and high school principal along with two teachers from each school who worked at schools that were in good standing from 2007-2011. Each school made adequate yearly progress (AYP) each year according to the No Child Left Behind Status History Report. This study examined one over arching research question: What do principals and teachers say about school and schooling? Data for this study was gathered through principal interviews, teacher interviews, and the results of an online Inventory of Leadership Styles (ILS) self-report and direct-report survey. The findings and actions by the principals in this study revealed that principals' leadership styles have an indirect effect on teacher and student performance. The leaders in this study set clear goals and directions built around high academic expectations. They worked to build faculty morale by empowering and motivating teachers. The professional development in their schools included professional learning communities in which teachers were provided time for collaboration. Instruction in each school is student centered and data driven. Teachers' motivated students while consistently keeping them engaged. Principals in each school took extra measures to engage parents and build community relationships. Principal participants utilized a combination of leadership styles. The results of this study suggested the need for a closer examination of professional learning communities and the strategies discussed within that improve student performance.