Purpose of the study . The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of principal leadership on student academic achievement at the middle level. The method of analysis was qualitative, with data collected from interviews, observations, and official documents to understand the relationship between principal leadership and student academic achievement. Specifically, an explanatory case study approach was used to study one principal of a middle level school considered qexemplaryq by a national study of leadership in middle level schools conducted by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, The Middle Level Leadership Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and by a national panel of experts representing the Middle-Grades Forum. Research procedures . A case study was conducted with data about principal leadership, culture, curriculum, instruction, and student academic achievement collected during several site visits to Southside Intermediate School. Site visits to Southside Intermediate occurred during the 2002-2003 academic school year. Multiple site visits were conducted for data collection with a minimum of five weeks of data collection. Qualitative data were collected from multiple sources at the school site in an effort to get multiple perspectives and ensure triangulation within the school. Fieldnotes and data were compiled and entered into a qualitative software program in an effort to categorize and reference the data as necessary. Methods of data collection included interviews with organizational stakeholders, non-participant observations, and the collection of official documents. Findings . With the changing economic, political, and social context of society, the role of the school leader is continually changing. The results of this case study explicate the impact of principal leadership behaviors on student academic achievement. The analysis of qualitative data established the importance of the school leader in developing a strong collaborative culture that fosters an effective instructional and curricular program. The results of this study suggest that principals must be transformational leaders who also serve as and share the responsibility for instructional and curricular leadership. Principals must learn to share leadership responsibilities with their staff. Shared leadership builds a collaborative culture and allows teachers to feel empowered when making decisions regarding the student learning. The principal's transformational leadership behaviors of empowerment, charismatic leadership, providing intellectual stimulation, being an appropriate model, and maintaining high performance expectations serve as a foundation for all leadership behavior. The findings are also supportive of a current movement in education toward shared leadership. These behaviors combined characterize an effective school that promotes a culture that fosters student learning.Methods of data collection included interviews with organizational stakeholders, non-participant observations, and the collection of official documents. Findings .
|Title||:||The Impact of Principal Leadership on Student Academic Achievement|
|Author||:||Julie Christine Gawerecki|