A Study of the Leadership Approach that Facilitates Adoption of School Councils

Secondary Education    Principals/Superintendents

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TITLE: A Study of the Leadership Approach that Facilitates Adoption of School Councils
RESEARCHER: Lorraine Devereaux
Department of Education
Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's)
Master's Thesis: June 1995

To investigate the leadership approach that facilitates adoption of school councils (site-based management).

Sample consisted of nine schools who were selected to pilot the school council model for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada) in the 1994- 95 school year participated and were matched (on the basis of size, number of teachers, locality and religion) with a provincial school not involved with school council implementation. Principals completed the LPI and the Relationship Between Principals and Members of School Councils Attitude Scale (Chapman, 1982), and provided demographic information about themselves and their school. They distributed similar packets to teachers and school council members. Thirteen principals responded (72%)--nine male and four female principals; and all had 10+ years of teaching experience. For the 194 school council members who responded (47% response rate) 69% were female, 58% were involved in school councils, and 34% were teachers. Interviews within two European schools were also conducted.

Internal reliabilities for this sample were all higher than .88. "School council members and teachers perceive those principals who are involved in school councils as having a leadership approach that is more highly developed than principals who are not involved. Involved principals are perceived to be more transformational in their leadership approach - more open to change - and therefore more open to adopting this new site-based management theory as their own" (abstract, ii).

“Leadership Training is Essential to Effective Site-Based Management” by Bruce Sheppard and Lorraine Devereaux in The Canadian School Executive (February 1997: 16:8:3-6). Reports that school principals involved in site-based management, unless given specific training, tend to cling to a leadership approach that corresponds more with traditional management theory than with site-based management.