Abstract Wallace - The Relationship of Leadership Behaviors with Follower Performance

The Relationship of Leadership Behaviors with Follower Performance: A Study of Alternative Schools

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TITLE: The Relationship of Leadership Behaviors with Follower Performance: A Study of Alternative Schools
 
RESEARCHER: Jonathan M. Wallace
School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship
Regent University
Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: August 2006

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to investigate what effect teacher leadership had on classroom effectiveness and student achievement.

METHODOLOGY
Data was collected from teachers (N = 40) and students (N = 198) in five alternative schools in three North Carolina school districts. Students answered questions about their attitudes concerning their instructional environment, as well as about their own teachers’ leadership attributes; conversely, teachers assessed their students’ learning and behavior. Effectiveness of classroom instruction, students’ learning and behavior, were assessed via a researcher-generated measure based upon the Kirkpatrick training evaluation model. Classroom management was assessed via the Attitudes and Beliefs on Classroom Control Inventory (Martin, Yin & Baldwin, 1998). The Leadership Practices Inventory was completed by both teachers (self) and students (LPI-Observer) with Cronbach alpha scores on all five leadership practices exceeding .92.

KEY FINDINGS
Using stepwise multiple regression analyses, all five leadership practices were positively related to the student-derived variable of reaction to instruction, with Enable explaining the most variance, followed by Encourage, Challenge, Model and Inspire. According to the researcher, students “have an overwhelmingly strong positive reaction to teachers who demonstrate leadership in the classroom” (p. 120).

All five leadership practices were positively related to the student-derived variable of learning from instruction, with Enable explaining the most variance, followed by Encourage, Challenge, Model and Inspire. According to the researcher, “Leadership has a major affect on students’ learning in the classroom” (p. 122). And all five leadership practices were positively related to the teacher-derived variable of learning from instruction, with Encourage explaining the most variance, followed by Enable, Model, Inspire and Challenge.

All five leadership practices were positively related to the student-derived variable of behavioral change from instruction, with Enable explaining the most variance, followed by Encourage, Challenge, Inspire and Model. And all five leadership practices were positively related to the teacher-derived variable of learning from instruction, with Encourage explaining the most variance, followed by Enable, Model, Inspire and Challenge. All five leadership practices were positively related to the teacher-derived variable of behavioral change from instruction, with Encourage explaining the most variance, followed by Enable, Model, Inspire and Challenge.

“Generally, the data from this study suggests that teachers’ leadership behaviors have a high degree of influence on a student’s reaction, learning and behavior” (p. 131). Leadership has the great impact on reaction to instruction, and accounted for a significant portion of the variance around learning, and relatively less importance in student behavior. Data from students showed that Enable had the most impact on them followed by Encourage, Challenge, Model and Inspire. Teachers rank Encourage, Enable, Model, Inspire and Challenge as the most influential.

An unexpected finding, says the researcher, was “the fact that teachers, as classroom leaders themselves, place less of an emphasis on leadership than did their followers, the students” (p. 134).

“Well, the verdict is in. Leadership does occur in classrooms, by teachers, to a high degree. Although teachers placed less importance in leadership behaviors than students, and while there was a large disparity between the role leadership behaviors play in behavior as opposed to reaction and learning, the data strongly suggests that leadership behaviors play a major role in the reaction, learning, and behavior of students” (p. 137)…..thus, leadership will continue to contribute to the improvement of schools and student learning” (p. 142).

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