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An Examination of Principal Leadership Practices and School- Level Variables in Connecticut Schools with Achievement Gains Above and Below the State’s Average Performance Gain on State Assessments

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TITLE: An Examination of Principal Leadership Practices and School- Level Variables in Connecticut Schools with Achievement Gains Above and Below the State’s Average Performance Gain on State Assessments
 
RESEARCHER: David. R. Cormier
School of Education
Andrews University (Connecticut)
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: July 2008

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to determine the common leadership practices of principals associated with schools demonstrating gains above and below the state’s average gain in student achievement.

METHODOLOGY
The sample consisted of 72 teachers and 24 administrators from 24 Connecticut public elementary schools (grades 4 and 5) making gains (plus or minus 4%) in student achievement. The building administrator and three randomly chosen teacher respondents from each school represented a single case. Sample subgroups were each comprised of 12 cases for a total sample of 24 cases. The self version of the Leadership Practices Inventory was completed by the administrator and the observer versions by the teachers.

KEY FINDINGS
No significant differences were found between sample subgroups on the five leadership practices and school context variables. However, eight individual leadership behaviors did show a significant difference, with principals from above the mean schools scoring higher in all of them versus their below the mean counterparts. Three of these were related to Challenging (#13, #18, and #23), two related to Encouraging (#20 and #25), two related to Modeling (#6 and #16) and one related to Enabling (#29).

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