Policies such as NCLB have increased accountability on school leaders to ensure the adequate performance of all students. The school principal is increasingly expected to be an instructional leader, responsible for students' academic achievement. Despite the growing emphasis on principals' instructional role, many scholars argue about what is actually known about the pathways of instructional influence that link principals to student learning. A better understanding of the limitations in the literature on educational leadership is needed as well as better evidence on how it influences student achievement. This dissertation empirically examines theoretical models of the possible effects of principal leadership and peer teacher influence on teachers' instructional practice and student learning. Data collected for this study come from a randomized delayed-treatment evaluation of school principal professional development in a mid-sized urban U.S. school district. Beyond investigation of the effectiveness of the professional development program, the teacher survey data and data on student ELA and mathematics achievement from this study provide a rich opportunity to examine of the plausible and possible influence of principals and teachers on teacher instruction and student learning. For this study, one year of teacher survey and two years of student achievement data were collected and linked. Scale development of the survey data was performed with special attention to the reliability and validity of measures. Multilevel structural equation modeling was employed to examine the structural relationships between student learning and the theorized dimensions of education leadership, teacher peer influence and change in teachers' instructional practice. This study aims to better understand the indirect linkages through which principal's might exert instructional influence. Results comparing principals and peer teachers suggest that while peer influence has a greater direct association with teacher instruction, principal leadership has a greater total association with ELA student learning because of its indirect effect through teacher peer influence. This implies that principals are an important actor in ELA student learning, in part because of their indirect influence on teacher instruction through the collaboration and communication around instruction between peer teachers.
|Book:||Educational leadership and student achievement: Pathways of instructional influence.|
|Author:||Philip M Sirinides|
|Publisher:||ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing|
|Number of Pages:||116|
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