Award Date

5-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Gene E. Hall

Second Committee Member

James Crawford

Third Committee Member

Jim Hager

Fourth Committee Member

Linda Quinn

Number of Pages

193

Abstract

Research reflecting the influence of leadership in middle level schools related to improving student achievement is scarce in spite of the pressure placed on schools by federal mandates and policies, such as NCLB, to reach ever-increasing levels of achievement. Although there is extensive literature on leadership and its possible influence on climate and culture, teacher efficacy, vision and goals of schools, and instruction, most of these topics are considered indirectly linked to student achievement. Few, if any, of these studies touch on the specific nature of middle level schools and how principal leadership might influence improved student achievement.

This quantitative dissertation study examined the relationship of the Change Facilitator Style (CFS) (Hall and George, 1999) of 10 middle school principals with student test scores in one mid-size suburban school district in the intermountain west. The questions that guided this study were: (1) How do middle school principals vary in CFS? (2) What is the extent of agreement between teacher ratings of a middle school principal's CFS and the principal's self-rating of CFS? (3) What is the relationship between a middle school principal's CFS and student achievement?

This study explored possible relationships between CFS and student achievement by using the Change Facilitator Style Questionnaire (CFSQ) (Hall & George, 1999) to identify principal CFS and analysis of variance (ANOVA) to analyze the data.

Findings documented that within the set of middle school principals rated in this study by their teachers, each CFS was represented. Even so, teachers did not unanimously view their principal as being of one style. Agreement between teacher ratings and principal self-ratings was limited to 50%.

Findings also suggested that Initiator and Manager styles of leadership were more effective in improving student test scores with Initiators showing more overall progress and Managers showing more progress in math.

This study is important because it provides tentative insights into factors that appear to influence improved student achievement at the middle school level, especially those related to the way in which principals approach implementing change in their schools. As a replication of a prior study done at the elementary level in an urban school district in the U.S., this study provides an initial examination of middle school principal change leadership and possible relationships with student test scores.

Keywords

Academic achievement; Change facilitator style; Educational leadership; Leadership style; Middle school principals; Middle schools; Principal leadership; Student achievement

Disciplines

Educational Leadership

Language

English


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