Running a school is a complex and time-consuming process. It involves the responsibility of various individuals, such as teachers and administrators.
The last two decades have seen a remarkable change in the acceptance of research findings that show connections between student outcomes and leadership.
Here’s What We Know
According to studies by Lloyd, Robinson, and Rowe, in 2008, leadership can significantly affect the achievement and learning of students. After teaching, leadership is the second most crucial factor that influences student learning.
Researchers have found that to have a positive influence on student learning; leadership needs to align with specific dimensions.
Instead of focusing on administrative tasks, leaders should focus on the teaching and learning of students. This type of leadership is instructional leadership. Other terms for this type of leadership include learning-centered leadership and leadership for learning.
If the leadership is distributed across all levels of schools, it can have a more significant impact on student learning. Even within the instructional domain, school leaders can still significantly impact student learning if they focus on the practices designed to improve the learning experience. For instance, it was previously believed that visiting classrooms frequently was an effective practice. However, recent research has shown that often visiting classrooms is not as vital as the leader’s actions, such as providing positive feedback and evaluating the teachers’ effectiveness.
The influence of leadership on student learning can be indirect depending on the leader’s hierarchical position. Top of the hierarchy, school leaders are less likely to direct their leadership toward students.
One of the most critical factors influencing student learning is the leader’s involvement in the teachers’ development. Schools can do this through the establishment of professional learning communities.
What We Need To Learn
To maximize the effectiveness of leadership practices, school leaders must identify the methods that are directly related to the learning behaviors and teaching styles that are most effective. This can be done through research designed to focus on measuring these practices.
- The research is still new as to what form leadership should take.
- What form should learning and development take in promoting and participating in teacher development?
- What’s the best way to motivate teachers to improve the quality of their teaching?
There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the research is genuinely hopeful for a bright future.