School Leadership Contributes To Student Achievement Education Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

This makes schools and their leaders under increasing pressure to make them more effective since there is compelling evidence that the school makes a difference in determining the achievement of the students and later, in life. The effort to make schools and educators who manage the education process more effective is a worthwhile goal. For many years now, researchers in the area of educational leadership have attempted to identify links between educational leadership and school effectiveness. This phenomenon is mainly due to the perception that educational leaders, especially school principals, increase school effectiveness.

The notion of leadership is continually evolving, often moving simultaneously in numerous directions (e.g., leader, manager, and administrator). Goldring and Greenfield (2002) argue that the image of the school leader has changed from "a position that was once ideologically grounded in philosophy and religion in the1800s, to a highly perspective manager concerned with efficiency and focused on functional administrative tasks in the mid 1900s, to a behavioral science perspective in the mid to late twentieth century ". Having reviewed the long-standing debate about the principalship . Sergiovanni (1991) concludes "While distinctions between management, leadership and administration debates may be useful for theorists, the key is the recognition that the principalship involves multiple responsibilities and duties ". As predicted by Laffey (1980), principals are expected to be "all things to all people." They are expected to be effective managers, and currently, with the focus on student achievement, and instructional leaders effectiveness. However, according to Scott (1983), " Principals and other significant groups who work with them have expectations regarding the principals' managerial role but disagree significantly with the principal as an instructional leader".

Reports have noted that principals have resisted changing their role from manager to that of an instructional leader (e.g. Philadelphia School Improvement Project, Kopple, 1985). Moreover, where principals' role transition has been successful, extensive training (Newburg & Glatthorn, 1983) and/or long-term training efforts (Kline, 1987) were necessary. (Cited from School leadership that works, p.23)

Statement of Problem

In the past 20 years, much attention has been given to education leadership and its impact on student's outcome. Recently, at the beginning of the 21st century, school accountability and initiatives have come to the forefront of educational practices more evidently than in the past. Schools now, more than ever, are challenged to improve to the extent that every effort is made to ensure the success of all students. In UNRWA Association where this study was conducted, the department of education has held for a number of years many reform plans for enhancing the school performance. Action by the UNRWA in this study is defined as restructuring ; a process that begins by identifying schools that are not making adequate progress as measured by a series of assessments and attendance rates. Schools under local restructuring are given additional assistance from the UNRWA and are directed to develop annual school improvement plans. Then they are monitored by the UNRWA every two years to check on progress made in each school. Placed at high risk, as a result of these actions, is the school principal.

Efforts to improve education relate directly to the quality of leadership provided in the schools. A past research has focused on the relationship between effective principals and effective schools (Edmonds 1982).In current and future research, student achievement is the key factor in defining effective principals and schools.( No child left behind Act,2001). School leaderships are progressively responsible for education quality based on the belief that students' success or failures are determined by the way a school run (Fullen 2000) .These beliefs for more effective leadership skills and practices are described as a change agent ,manager ,symbolic leader ,instinctual leader, disciplinarian, decision maker and policy maker (Cotton,2003,Morzano,Wale and Mcnully ) .

One impact of the reform movement of the last decade is to involve as many people as possible in local school decision making. This shared decision making reflects a less centralized approach to school leadership and requires a great deal of collaboration and trust (Midgely & Wood, 1993). Collaborative decision making means many things and takes many forms, depending on the people involved; therefore the role of the principal changes as situations and circumstances change.

As a principal of a school under restructuring, he or she must reconcile the demands and initiatives of the UNRWA with those of the local system to bring about school improvement (School focus development in UNRWA).

Therefore, principals in these schools are under pressure to follow up the reforming revolution seeking out a better academic achievement. For that, this study was anchored in perspectives on the principal ship and on factors that shape how principals define and respond to their roles with respect to school reform, and how principals respond to some of the changes and challenges of the position.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is first, to determine Bolman and Deal leadership and management styles of principals as perceived by themselves, and by their principals' assistances and by teachers. Second, to compare the leadership and management styles of school principals at risk to the styles of school principals showed an adequate progress in official exams for Grade nine. Finally, to determine the set of leadership and management behaviors that best describe the degree of principals' performance in their schools, and their effectiveness in school academic achievement.

Significance of the Study

As a teacher, a central question, which requires further analysis is how exactly principals leadership style influence the instructional working of their school and thereby increase student's achievement. My conceptual frame work is done on a Bolman and Deal's four frames of model leadership. I have been through many models, but I found that this model is one of the best models necessary for improving the leadership style of any principal, indirectly increasing the school effectiveness. They classified these tools as frames, which give leaders a clearer view of reality. These include the structural, human resources, political, and the symbolic frame. Moreover, Bolman and Deal (1997) assert that "leaders'effectiveness" emerge when leaders are able to respond to the needs of their organizations by viewing them through more than one frame. In this way they can reach a deeper and better understanding of organizations. As a graduate student in the field of educational administration and leadership, the question of how to practice the educational leadership in our school and how this influence learning outcomes are applied. As I experienced the complexity and diversity of school life through my teaching experience, I realized how confusing and frustrating leadership experiences can be, especially when you lack the tools needed to face these experiences. On the other hand, my teaching experience, through which I felt the impact of Bolman and Deal's leadership techniques on the effectiveness of leaders, had a stimulating effect in the selection of this model, among others, to guide and enrich my study on school leadership. In broader terms, these experiences came to support the belief that leadership is a complex (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2002) and multifaceted process (Northouse, 2004), and can be exercised in any situation that requires influencing others. Tannenbaum, Weschler, and Massarik (1961) introduced the idea that leadership is applicable to "all interpersonal relationships in which influence attempts are involved". How to deal with the constantly increasing challenges facing organizational life, how to help organizations improve, grow, or survive, and how to understand and gain insight into leadership as a topic and/or as a process, are some of the questions that have kept researchers and practitioners of leadership engaged. A review of the enormous body of literature on this topic reveals a significant interest in understanding leadership and its leadership effectiveness. Researchers' interest in leadership over the past one hundred and fifty years reveals itself in the vast number of theories, models, and practical guides that have been developed to gain deeper knowledge into this phenomenon, and to improve leadership practices.

In summary, this study is significant in that, it proposes to address the need to document the extent to which leadership behaviors differ among principals in schools "at risk" and principals in schools that have "made adequate progress". There was a need to clarify the daily behaviors and practices of the principal and to provide insight into how the principal makes leadership decisions and judgments about school improvement and how to get the job done (Bolman &Deal, 1997).This study will be useful to all UNRWA organizations wishing to proficiently exploit the leadership styles practiced by the principals as designed by Bolman and Deal. It will provide these organizations with a substantial association between leadership practices and student's achievements as well as it will insight to raise this association, in order to maintain a competitive edge within the other school in the reforming evolutions .

Research Questions and Hypotheses

To gather data for this study, questions were asked to the principal and teachers. The following questions are:

To what extent the principals' frame utilization (structural, human resource, political and symbolic orientations) in schools labeled "at risk" differ from that in schools "making adequate progress"?

- Does the leadership style designed by Bolman and Deal affect the student's academic achievement?

Research Objectives

Examine the different definitions of leadership and styles

Identify the parameters which determine principals' leadership style, schools' organizational culture, and classrooms' learning cultures.

Examine the effects of the principals' leadership style on school's effectiveness.

Identify of Bolman and Deal's model of leadership and examine the effect of having more than one frame on the principal's behavior and students achievement.

List the characteristics of the effective principal activities and their influence on learning outcome.

Definition of terms

School Leadership: The influential behaviors applied by the school administration or principal that facilitate teachers and the wider school community working towards the achievement of the mutually agreed upon organizational goals of the school.( NWREL 1995)

Instructional Leadership: This entails the communication of the school's mission and goals, and the effective management of the instructional program of the school. This is accomplished through the provision of direction, emphasis, and support to the school's central mission of teaching for the success of all children.(NWREL1995).

School Climate: The existing learning environment. This environment can either facilitate effective teaching and be conducive to student learning, or affect the quality of the teaching and be an impediment to student academic progress (NWREL 1995)

Effective Schools: Settings in which students display high levels of academic achievement, satisfaction, morale, and pride in their schools (NWREL 1995) [1] . In this research synthesis, for most of the studies, school effectiveness is measured in terms of student academic achievements indicated by scores on various statewide tests

School effectiveness is defined as student engagement in school .Blank (1987) used, in addition to student academic performance, student attendance in determining school effectiveness.

Frame Utilization: a process by which leaders order their experiences and make informed decisions; framing helps filter out some things and allow others to pass through. Frames represent a "lens" through which principals might view their leadership behavior. (Bolman & Deal, 1995).

Bolman and Deal Frames: Frames represent the manner in which leaders view and process their experiences. Bolman and Deal (2003) identify four frames: structural, human resource, political and symbolic. Each frame has its own specific perspective for viewing a situation. (Bolman & Deal, 1995).

Leadership by Bolman and Deal Frame:"Leadership is thus a subtle process of mutual influence fusing thought, feeling, and action to produce cooperative effort in the service of purposes and values of both the leader and the led. Single-frame managers are unlikely to understand and attend to the intricacies of a holistic process". (Bolman & Deal, 1995).


Literature Review


In the contemporary world, improvements of student achievements are recognized as the foremost objective of school reforms and restructuring efforts. With this objective in mind, many different reform problems are being implemented while key focus of the reforms is more or less the same. They focus on improving student's learning and increasing their achievement (William. G. Kean; 2002).

Student's achievement can be viewed from two perspectives: the first perspective is to view achievement in terms of enrollment, or a number of students who pass a course, and the second perspective examines student achievement in terms of whether they mastered or attained course learning objectives.

Enrollment numbers include the number of students who have passed the course, the number of non-grads, and the final average grade of the class. These enrollment numbers may be used to identify the causes for non-graduation. These numbers may also be compared over time to locate possible problems prior to class convening, such as lack of prerequisite knowledge, student concerns, or overall course concerns. (William. G. Kean ; 2002)

Although the final average grade of a class is recorded to look at overall student performance, the percent of students who mastered, or attained, the individual objectives (terminal objectives and enabling objectives) are also recorded to find which units and/or lessons are the most difficult for the them. The percentages for the individual objectives can provide information about areas in the lesson where students may need extra help and may require modification or extra instruction.

Student enrollment and achievement data can help educators to identify problem areas in the subject and improve it. Nowadays improvement of student achievement has always been one of the main goals of education. (William. G. Kean ; 2002)

There are many factors that influence student's outcome. First, student background characteristics -especially social, economic and cultural background - frequently emerge as the most important source of variation in student achievement. Such student background characteristics cannot be easily influenced by educational policy in the short term. Second, school-related factors, which are more open to policy influence, explain a smaller part of the variations in student learning than student characteristics (Hallinger and Heck, 1996; Leithwood et al., 2006; OECD, 2005b). Third, among school-level variables, the factors that are closest to student learning, such as teacher quality and classroom practices, tend to have the strongest impact on student achievement (Leithwood and Riehl, 2003; OECD, 2005b).

These factors are categorized as following:

External factor such as the gender, race, parent's education background, social state and reinforcement.

Internal factors concerning motivation and self reflection

Social factor includes the student's ability to connect with teachers and students.

Curricular factor includes all the practices done in the school to improve student's outcome as matching teaching style to learning style, engaging material, engaged teachers and learners, collaborative / cooperative learning, instructional strategies, classroom management and classroom curriculum design etc…

Administrative factor that includes all the practices that done by the school leaders to improve student's outcome.

Even through all these factors which are necessary for increasing the students outcomes, school leadership has become a priority in education policy agendas across countries because it plays a key role in improving classroom practice, school policies and connections between individual schools and the outside world. It can encompass people occupying various roles and functions such as principals, deputy and assistant principals, leadership teams, school governing boards and school-level staff involved in leadership tasks.

The Concept of Leadership

The concept of leadership dates back to antiquity. According to Bass (1981), the study of leadership is an ancient art. Discussions of leadership appear in the works of Plato, Caesar, and Plutarch. Additionally, leadership is a robust concept that "occurs universally among all people regardless of culture, whether they are isolated Indian villagers, Eurasian steppe nomads, or Polynesian fisher folk.

Theories of leadership abound. They include approaches such as the "great man" theory, which suggests that, for example, without Moses the Jewish nation would have remained in Egypt and without Churchill the British would have acquiesced to the Germans in 1940; "trait" theories, which contend that leaders are endowed with superior qualities that differentiate them from followers; and "environmental" theories, which assert that leaders emerge as a result of time, place, and circumstance. Regardless of the theory used to explain it, leadership has been intimately linked to the effective functioning of complex organizations throughout the centuries.

The traditions and beliefs about leadership in schools are no different from those regarding leadership in other institutions. Leadership is considered to be vital to the successful functioning of many aspects of a school. Concerning on school leadership, many definitions involve the process of influence. As YuKI has phrased it "most definitions of leadership reflect the assumption that it involves a social influence process whereby intentional influence is exerted by one person [or group] over other people [or groups] to structure the activities and relationships in a group or organization" (Yukl, 2002). The term intentional is important, as leadership is based on articulated goals or outcomes to which the process of influence is expected to lead. Leadership is a broader concept where authority to lead does not reside only in one person, but can be distributed among different people within and beyond the school.

Peter.G. Northouse also defines leadership as "a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal" and identifies the central components of leadership: "(a) Leadership is a process; (b) leadership involves influence, (c) leadership occurs within a group context, and (d) leadership involves goal attainment" (Northouse, 2004, p. 3).

For the purpose of this study, leadership will be defined, in Bolman and Deal's terms, as "a process of mutual influence fusing thought, feeling, and action to produce cooperative effort in the service of purposes and values of both the leader and the led"(Bolman & Deal, 1997, p. 296 ).

Leadership and Management

The study of leadership and management has a long history. The concept of effective leadership prompts the question: by whose standards?

Historically, school leaders have been portrayed as people in charge of a school who have the sole responsibility for leading those who work for them to success. This kind of school leader has the expectation that when he/she leads, others will follow. More recent views of leadership involve persuading other people to set aside for a period of time their individual concerns and pursue a common goal that is important for the group (Hogan et al., 1999). They express that leadership is persuasion, not domination; persons who can require others to do their bidding because of their power are not leaders. Leadership only occurs when others willingly adopt, for a period of time, the goals of the group as their own.

Research from the last two decades has also shown a strong link between effective leadership and effective organizations (Bolman & Deal, 1994; Boyan, 1988; Griffiths, 1988; Lezotte, 1997; Sergiovanni, 1995). Hogan et al. (1999) assert that a "growing body of evidence supports the common sense belief that leadership matters" (p.34). Fullan (2002) expresses that schools need leaders who can change "what people in the organization value and how they work together to accomplish it" (p.34). Fullan (2002) continues by saying the schools "need leaders who can create a fundamental transformation in the learning cultures of schools and of the teaching profession itself" (p.18). Beach and Reinhartz (2000) note that "leadership is essential to promoting student achievement and creating a vision of success for the total educational program" (p.72).

A causal and definitional link exists between leadership and team performance, Hybels and Hodges (1999), who also note that leadership is about serving and starts on the inside and moves outward to serve others. Such leadership has the interest of others in mind, nurtures growth and development in others, is willing to listen, and thinks less about self while held accountable for performance. Lambert (1998) suggests that leadership involves "learning together and constructing meaning and knowledge collectively and collaboratively to reflect on and make sense of work in the light of shared beliefs and create actions that grow out of these new understandings" (pp.5-6).

One of the most influential calls for educational leaders is to develop a vision suitable with the standard of the district .The school leader develops a vision of learning from the culture of the organization and establishes a mission for the school community. The vision is the primary and major influence on both the mission and the culture. Vision can be defined as foresight and forethought. It is the dream of where the school principal wants the school to be in the future. If it is a shared vision, it exceeds what the principal wants; it is now what the staff, students, parents and community leaders want. Every vision should be followed by a mission. Deal and Peterson (1999) wrote that the mission is "the focus of what people do" (p.23).

The culture in a school reflects the vision and the mission of the school. In defining culture, Deal and Peterson (1999) state that "it consists of the stable, underlying social meanings that shape beliefs and behavior over time" (p.3). The vision is the dream; the mission is how to achieve the dream; and the culture is impacted by the realization of the vision as the mission is accomplished. Culture involves values, beliefs, mores, tools for establishing goals, and the way in which people are valued or devalued. Smith and Andrews (1989) explain that "communication of vision is perhaps the most important way for principals to exert effective leadership-to leave no doubt about school priorities" These principals know what to expect for the school and students and are able to infect others with that dream, a positive and beneficial contagion. Perhaps these principals can do nothing more important for their teachers and staff than to create a process for forging and reworking the vision or mission of the school. Traditionally, schools have not been places where adults can easily share the collegial relationships that are essential to leadership, as distinct from management, and teacher empowerment. An effective school principal "demonstrates a strong interest in promoting collegiality and shared leadership, an interest in shifting the norms of the school's culture from the traditional to more collaborative ways of working together" (Owens, 2004, p. 274).

Powell (2004), in her research on the behaviors and practices of successful principals working with "at risk" schools, found that the school vision, mission and culture are important to the success of the school. She found that it is difficult to separate the three because one supports and affects the others. She also found other research that supports this claim. For example, it is the vision of the school that leads the way to accomplishing the goals of the school (Uchiyama & Wolf, 2002). Dufour and Eaker (1998) state that the shared vision motivates the staff to work together and gives a sense of direction for what they want to accomplish in the future.

The vision of the school principal influences the mission of the school. Papalewis and Fortune (2002) also cited examples of successful schools in which the goals that reflect the mission statement are displayed in every classroom. In these schools everyone knew the direction of the school and the posted goals in the halls and classrooms reflected their knowledge and commitment.

In successful schools, there is a culture that shows everyone focused on teaching and learning. Connell (1999) described these schools as a place where everyone is involved in the work of the school. During Connell(1999) study about high-performing and high-poverty schools, Connell(1999) found that a staff focused on engagement in the school is an important aspect of school success. Connell ( 1999) stated:

"Of primary importance is the principal's engagement in a school. There is no high-achieving school where the staff is not serious about their work and where they are not focused. One can sense that people in a building are moving in the same direction. Everyone knows their job and why they're there... even the lunch-room aide. In low-achieving schools, everyone is an island unto themselves."

Clearly from the research, the vision of the principal is the key element of school leadership. With a vision, the leader is then able to influence the mission of the school and create a culture of learning that will promote success for all students. Hughes (2004) further explains a school's culture. He states "a school's culture is a representation of what its members collectively believe themselves to be: It is their self-concept. It reflects what they value and what they express to others as being 'important around here'". Culture is a shared reality constructed over time; cultures may be cohesive or fragmented, strong or weak, and functional or dysfunctional depending on the degree to which the same reality is shared by organizational members (Morgan, 1986; Sergiovanni, 1990).

It is clear that schooling has reached a turning point and the need for cultivating creative cultures is at hand (Hughes, 2004). The principal has emerged as the energizer and facilitator of this process. Purposeful direction depends on the leader's ability to inspire the creative contribution of all members of the organization.

Leadership must become reciprocal as leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of moral consciousness and improvement of social order. Creative leaders recognize that excellence is facilitated through a bonding of purposes and values rather than through imposed structures designed to streamline, predict and quantify set objectives. Blumberg (1989) explains that the successful principal applies the "craft of administration" by balancing the art of leadership and the science of management to improve curriculum, instruction, and other important elements of school. He adds that by purposefully adding elements of a specific school setting into the general model, a principal can categorize and assess important site-specific school improvement actions.

School leadership has become increasingly more complicated and vital to ensuring school success and soliciting substantial participation from faculty, staff and students. In responding to higher standards of increased student progress, school leaders recognize that they alone cannot be the sole instructional leaders but must coach, mentor, and empower faculty and staff in the pursuit of reform and renewal. As school leaders continue to adapt to their changing roles, effective leadership skills will be essential and the real challenge is providing the type of leadership skills necessary to assist schools in expanding their traditional boundaries (Green, 2001). Lambert (2002) notes that for decades, educators have understood that they are all responsible for student learning, but more recently administrators have come to realize that they are responsible for their own learning and the learning of their colleagues as well.

School Leadership Contributes To Student Achievement

Since we are focusing on the extent to how the of principal's leadership and management style and behaviors affect the school academic achievements. A number of studies have been conducted to develop effective schools towards the achievement of better student outcomes as well as to identify the relationship between school effectiveness and school improvement. There are two related lines of research demonstrating the influence of school leaders on school improvement. The first line of inquiry is what is known as "school effectiveness research" which identified the characteristics of effective schools that influence the high-achieving schools particularly student's achievement. The second line of research is what is focused primarily on the principal's role in developing instructional programs which have mainly contributed to create more high-achieving schools.

Now, let us focus on the first line of inquiry which primarily emphasizes the features of effective schools movement, leading to increase student's achievement.

The Coleman Report (1966 ) demonstrated that the school had little or no effect on student achievements, concluding that family background was the key factor influencing the student achievements. Following this report, many researchers in the 1970s and early 1980s intensively conducted similar studies and reacted sharply to the report (Edmonds, 1979, Walberg & Scott, 1979; Austin, 1979). In contrast to Coleman report, Edmonds (1979) argued that school leadership behavior is critical in determining the quality of education. Further, on the basis of his research on instructionally effective schools in Detroit and a review of previous studies involving effective schools in New York, California, and Michigan, he has concluded that school factors have predominantly contributed towards the creation of instructionally effective schools. These factors are: (1) strong administrative leadership; (2) high levels of expectations in student achievements; (3) an orderly but not oppressive school climate; (4) a focus on pupil acquisition of basic school skills; (5) conducive atmosphere to the instructional process; (6) means of student progress monitoring; and (7) resources that can be focused on the fundamental learning objectives of the school. In line with these findings, Austin (1979) suggests that an effective school which can promote student outcomes need to provide a climate that stimulates ideas and facilitates the exchange of ideas with colleagues. Purkey and Smith (1985) have identified school leadership as one of the major factors in improving academic performance.

For the purposes of seeking the perceptions of school communities on factors which mostly help the schools to be effective, Townsend (1997) conducted a comparative study between Australian and American schools. The study employed an empirical survey involving a total of 1000 respondents, 427 from Victoria, Australia and 573 from the United States. The respondents comprised of 12% principals, 34.9% teachers, 31.8% parents, and 21.3% students. Based on the data analysis, Townsend (1997) concludes that an effective school is primarily characterized by good leadership and staff, good policies and a safe and/or supportive atmosphere in which staff, parents, and students are encouraged to work as teams towards common goals.

Some research found that the relationship between school leadership and student learning is mostly indirect. As school leaders work mainly outside the classroom, their impact on student learning is largely mediated through other people, events and organizational factors such as teachers, classroom practices and school climate (Hallinger and Heck, 1998). The finding that the relationship between leadership and student learning is mediated through such factors underscores the powerful role of the school leader in helping to create the conditions for effective teaching and learning

Some, recent studies have also evaluated the literature on school improvement research in the current context of school reforms. For instance, case studies conducted by Sun, Creemers and Jong ,between 1999 and 2003 in eight European countries i.e. Belgium, Finland, The Netherlands, UK, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain show that several ideas from school improvement research such as setting national goals in terms of school improvement and strong leadership in steering and empowering school improvement efforts, have been important.

In particular, on the basis of their data collection procedures using interviews, audio and video-tape recordings, Sun, Creemers and Jong (2007: 97) affirm that national goal setting in terms of student outcomes which were reflected in the national curriculum and school text books was a key factor that influenced effective school improvement. Also, effective school improvement required strong and "empowered" school leadership. In this context, the word "empowered" means to give power and authority to the schools, particularly to the school leadership, for personnel (hiring, firing, and promoting teachers and other school staff members), time and financial management, spiritual and human resources support, and school improvement. Thus, it is clear that one of the key factors in creating school effectiveness and improvement is the role of school leadership. The school effectiveness research revealed that the role of leadership contributes to improved school performance and student achievements.

On the other hand, we are going to focus on the second line of research, the principal's role in developing instructional programs. Moving a step further, the research on school leadership effects has revealed a number of leadership roles and responsibilities that are particularly conducive to enhancing student learning. Findings of the research on leadership effects have recently been consolidated in a number of reviews and meta-analyses. These show that certain leadership practices are associated with measurable improvements in student learning. Since the 1970s, many articles and books have described the characteristics of effective schools, but there have been only a few efforts to synthesize the research on school leadership and its influences on student's achievement. In their article entitled "Exploring the Principal's Contribution to School Effectiveness: 1980-1995," Philip Hallinger and Ronald Heck synthesized the findings from 40 empirical studies that were conducted between 1980 and 1995.They organized those studies into three broad categories: studies that used "direct effect" models, studies that used "mediated effect" models, and studies that used "reciprocal effect" models. Direct effect models are those that posit a direct link between principal behavior and student achievement. This was basically the approach taken in the school effectiveness studies of the 1970s-if the principal engages in certain behaviors, student achievement is enhanced; if the principal doesn't engage in these behaviors, achievement is not enhanced. Mediated effect models assume that the principal influences student achievement only through others-specifically teachers. In more technical terms, mediated effect models assume that a principal affects student achievement through a number of indirect paths that involve factors such as events, people, culture, and structures.

Finally, models based on reciprocal effects assume that the principal and the teachers affect each other. The actions of the principal affect the actions of the teachers, which, in turn, affect the actions of the principal. These models involve multiple paths between variables. Following their work, Kathleen Cotton published the findings of her narrative review of the literature in the book Principals and Student Achievement: What the Research Says. She explored the relationship between school principal and student achievements. She reviewed 81 reports, consisting of 49 studies at primary level, 23 at secondary level, five combinations of reviews and studies and four textbook analyses and research-based guidelines on the principals' behaviors. The sample reports were predominantly from the US Low socio-economic status (SES) schools, involving: students, teachers, principals, school council members, community members, and superintendents. Based on these studies, Cotton (2003) concludes that principals who were knowledgeable and actively involved with their school's instructional programs had higher numbers of high achieving students than those who managed only the non-instructional aspects of their schools. In particular, the role of high-performing school principals as instructional leaders focused on several elements, including focus was on ongoing pursuit of high levels of student learning.

In 2004, Leithwood and colleagues ( Seashore Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004) identify three basic practices as the "core of successful leadership". Setting direction accounts for the largest proportion of a leader's impact. This set of practices is aimed at helping staff members establish and understand the goals of the school and is the foundation of a shared vision for the school. Developing people involves building the capacity of those within the school and using their strengths. Specific behaviors associated with this category include "offering intellectual stimulation, providing individualized support and providing appropriate models of best practice and beliefs considered fundamental to the organization" (p. 9). Redesigning the organization involves changing those organizational characteristics that might "blunt or wear down educators' good intentions and actually prevent the use of effective practices" (p. 9). Specific practices associated with this category include strengthening the school culture and building collaborative processes. (Leithwood, K., Louis, K. S., Andersen, S., & Wahlstrom, K. 2004)

Waters, Marzano and McNulty (2004) conducted another meta-analytic study on leadership practices that are highly correlated with student achievements. The study came to be known as Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) and investigated whether the focus on the quality of leadership had a significant relationship to student achievements and also sought which specific leadership responsibilities and practices had the greatest impact on student achievements. For this purpose, they reviewed more than 5,000 studies of which only 70 had been published; to identify the effects of leadership on student achievements. The published studies demonstrated standardized, objective and quantitative measures of student achievements, including the state norm-referenced tests, on the basis of teachers' opinions and/or ratings on principal's leadership quality. In total, the 70 studies involved a sample size of 2,894 schools with 14,000 teachers, and more than 1.1 million students.

Based on these studies; Waters, Marzano and McNulty (2004) found two key elements that could have positive or negative impact on student achievements. The first factor is whether the principals properly identified the correct focus for schools and classroom improvement efforts that were most likely to have a positive impact on improving student achievements. These included curriculum development, challenging goals and effective feedback, parents and community involvement, a safe and orderly environment, and collegiality and professionalism. At the teacher level, the changes had to address the creation of effective instructional strategies, classroom management, and classroom curriculum designs. At student level, they entailed a positive home environment and motivation in supporting student learning.

However, the second factor that creates successful achievements of students is whether or not school principals properly understand the magnitude or order of changes, along with leading and adjusting their leadership practices accordingly. For example, the changes in terms of new classroom instruction practices and curricular programs could be viewed as the first priority by principals and teachers. However, the same practices and programs are considered as the second priority by policy makers and parents, while the implementation of standards and accountability measures are considered as the first priorities. So, if leaders fail to understand or acknowledge that some changes are second-order for some stakeholders, they may struggle to get support for the successful implementation of these changes. Consequently, their initiatives may fail to improve student achievements. (School leadership that works by Waters, Marzano and McNulty (2004).

Leadership for School Change

School leaders have been portrayed as people in charge of a school who have the sole responsibility for leading those who work for them to success. This kind of school leader has the expectation that when he/she leads, others will follow. Fullan (2002) expresses that schools need leaders who can change "what people in the organization value and how they work together to accomplish it" (p.34). Fullan (2002) continues by saying the schools "need leaders who can create a fundamental transformation in the learning cultures of schools and of the teaching profession itself" (p.18). Beach and Reinhartz (2000) note that "leadership is essential to promoting student achievement and creating a vision of success for the total educational program" (p.72). School leadership is often used interchangeably with school management and school administration. An often-quoted phrase is "managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing" (Bennis and Nanus, 1997). While leadership involves steering organizations by shaping other people's attitudes, motivations and behaviors, management is more closely associated with maintenance of current operations (Bush and Glover, 2003). Dimmock (1999) provides a distinction between school leadership, management and administration while also recognizing that the responsibilities of school leaders often encompass all three: school leaders experience difficulty in deciding the balance between higher order tasks designed to improve staff, student and school performance (leadership), routine maintenance of present operations (management) and lower order duties (administration). The task of running a complex operation is administration-a task with two dimensions. One dimension, embracing activities related to change, is leadership. The other dimension, encompassing productive efforts to manage a status quo in which people can work comfortably, is management (Hughes, 2004). Hughes introduces the ABC rule (Accelerator, Brake and Cruise control) and further explains that the good administrator reads the context correctly and knows how much pressure to apply, when to apply it and why. In running complex organizations, the person in charge must attend to both leadership tasks and management tasks. The successful principal administers a complex organization that is part of a larger social and political context. When exercising leadership skills, the administrator helps establish the goals, mission, and shared vision for the organization itself and for the organization within the larger context. When the vision is shared, management can generate processes and structures to guide goal attainment.

In running complex organizations, the person in charge must attend to both leadership tasks and management tasks. The successful principal administers a complex organization that is part of a larger social and political context. When exercising leadership skills, the administrator helps establish the goals, mission, and shared vision for the organization itself and for the organization within the larger context. When the vision is shared, management can generate processes and structures to guide goal attainment .

The role of manager is essential for the school principal and is probably the text organizational behavior, divide management skills into three major categories (katz and khan, 1996)

1. Technical - derived from sound management techniques

2. Human - derived from harnessing available social and interpersonal resources.

3. Conceptual - derived from expert knowledge about matters of education and schooling.

Sergiovanni (1991) added two other areas of management for school administrators:

1. Symbolic - derived from focusing the attention of others on matters of importance to the school.

2. Cultural - derived from building a unique school culture.

Fullan and Stieglebauer (1991) add a sixth dimension of school management-the principal as a change agent and facilitator. In all six areas of leadership, the principal attempts to organize the school's mission or goals by (1) building collegiality among teachers, (2) forging partnerships with the parents, community residents, and community institutions, and (3) manipulating symbols, resources, and rewards toward common goals.

Principals worked together with a supportive base of parents, teachers and community members to mobilize initiative. Their efforts broadly focused along two major dimensions: first, reaching out to parents and community to strengthen the ties between local school professionals and the clientele they are to serve; and second, working to expand the professional capacities of individual teachers, to promote the formation of a coherent professional community, and to direct resources toward enhancing the quality of instruction. Collaboration is a key characteristic of school change and school success. Successful principals empower staff through collaboration and shared leadership. They encourage risk taking and problem solving . (Fullan, 2001, p. 142)

Bolman and Deal (1984) assert that leaders view their world through a framework of preconditioned lenses and filters. This framework shapes how situations are defined and determines what actions are taken. However, correct diagnosis of a given situation is the critical step in determining the appropriate response from the leader. "A faulty diagnosis will rarely produce an effective response, and misreading a situation can undermine even a leader of exceptional stature and skill (Bolman & Deal, 1991, p.1).

Bolman and Deal (1984) developed four frames that portray the way leaders think and act in response to everyday issues:

The human resource frame focuses attention on human needs.

The structural frame focuses on organizational goals and efficiency

The political frame emphasizes competition for scarce resources.

The symbolic frame focuses on imagery, symbols and culture

Bolman and Deal Leadership Style Approach

Why Bolman and Deal?

Bolman and Deal (1997) produced an insightful and leading work on structures of organizations in general, and the leadership challenges they pose on the application of their theories in the educational field. The main feature of the interest in their model is that it allows leaders to reframe their leadership style, in order to serve the organization's vision. This ability to reframe meets most of the current thinking on effective leadership as well as the results of recent research that focuses on establishing a relationship between the role of the coordinator and the development of successful schools (Brown & Rutherford, 2000; Tymms, 1995; NCSL, 2001; Frost-Harris, 2003).

Bolman and Deal (1997) argue that the aim of their work "is to help managers enrich the ideas and approaches they bring to work" (p.15). They also believe that 'the most basic change strategy is to improve management and leadership" and that the ability to use "multiple frames is associated with greater effectiveness for managers and leaders". A statement that is in alignment with the findings listed in "A Nation at Risk" (1983) is that the National Commission on Excellence in Education believes that" school boards must consciously develop leadership skills at the school and district levels if the reforms we propose are to be achieved" (p.32).

The four styles of Bolman and Deal as well as the behaviors contained in each can be summarized as follows (Thomas, 2002):

The Structural Style

Emphasis of leaders in this style is on goals, specialized roles and formal relationships. Responsibilities are allocated to participants in the organizations and rules, policies, procedures, and hierarchies are created to coordinate diverse activities.

The image of leadership in this style is that of social architecture or top-down chain of command. The structural leader behaves in an organized and analytic way.


• Organized: The leader behaves in an organized way by developing clear goals and policies which held people accountable for results.

• Analytic: A leader behaves in an analytic way by thinking clearly and logically and approaching problems with facts.

The Human Resources Style

The leaders in this style see the organization as an extended family, inhabited by individuals who have needs, feelings, prejudices, skills and limitations. They believe organizations should be tailored to people so that people do their job well while feeling good about it. The image of leadership for this style is that of empowerment, or cooperation. The Human Resources leader behaves in a participative and supportive way.


• Participative: By fostering participation and involvement, listening and openness to new ideas, a leader would have a participative behavior.

• Supportive: As for the supportive behavior, the leader's concern would be about feelings of others and her/his responsiveness to them.

The Political Style

Leaders in this style perceive organizations as arenas, contests or jungles. They believe that different interests compete for power and scarce resources. These leaders are adepts in bargaining, negotiation, coercion and compromise. They might form coalitions around specific interests and change them as issues come and go. The image of leadership here is: Advocacy. The behavior of the political style leader is powerful and adroit.


• Powerful: To behave in a powerful way a leader had to be persuasive and have the ability to mobilize people and build alliances and support.

• Adroit: The adroit behavior required the leader to be skillful, especially in negotiations in the face of conflict and opposition, and sensitive.

The Symbolic Style

The emphasis in this style is on symbolic forms (story, metaphor, music…).Organizations are treated as tribes, theaters, or carnivals and seen as cultures propelled more by rituals than by rules. This style, unlike the other three, doesn't believe in assumptions of rationality. The image of leadership in this style is inspiration and the leader behaves in an inspirational and charismatic way.


• Inspirational: The inspirational leaders inspired colleagues and subordinates to loyalty and enthusiasm and communicated a strong sense of vision.

• Charismatic: The charismatic leaders are imaginative, and emphasize culture and values.

While each of the four-styles model has its own image of reality, leaders are advised to reframe between all four in order to 'develop a greater appreciation and deeper understanding of organization' (Bolman & Deal, 1997, p. 15).The emphasis is very much on being able to use the appropriate style for each context rather than standardizing the approaches to problem solving. It also allows the observer to have a clear cut identification of each coordinator's role through the study of her/his leadership style. ( see appendix E).

As a result, the Bolman and Deal frame utilization schemata was selected to gather data to determine leadership behaviors of school principals because of its close alignment with management and leadership theories. Each frame can be linked to leadership styles and behaviors of school principals. For example, the central concept of the Structural Frame is related to rules, goals, policies, and task orientations that are embedded in leadership and management requirements for principals. The Human Resource frame has as its focus human needs and relationships (staff, students, parents, and community). Collegial relationships are necessary where people work comfortably. Understanding the culture of the school community is key for the school leader; to be able to visualize a better future for the organization has relevance for the Symbolic Frame.

Finally, school leaders must understand that leadership is not domination through coalitions of power, but by persuasion. Leaders must understand the central concept of power and conflict in the school setting-Political Frame. Many studies among the United States sample and that of Singapore found that:

(a) All four frames were positively associated with the measures of effectiveness

(b) The structural frame was a better predictor of managerial than leadership effectiveness, while the reverse was true for the symbolic frame

(c) The effective school manager is someone oriented toward structure and symbols.

To sum up, both the qualitative and quantitative results suggest that the ability to use multiple frames is critical to principals' effectiveness as both manager and leader.


Design And Methodology

This study was designed to investigate the extent to which principals employ frame utilization strategies, as designed by Bolman and Deal (1997), when making judgments and management decisions for school improvement and their influences in student's achievement. The sample population for this study was composed of four principals; two principals in schools labeled "at risk " and two principals in school making "an adequate progress" in official exams for grade 9.These school are related to UNRWA schools for Palestinian refugee in Saida.

The methodology used for gathering data for this study and the statistical analysis proposed are presented in this chapter.

Participants and Research Settings


Participants in this study were four principals ,four principals' assistances and teachers selected from four schools related to UNRWA Agency .Two of the schools were marked as "risk" schools for they had a bad results in the official exams for grade 9 in 2008-2009,the other two schools were showed an adequate progress in these exams .

A brief description of each school is given in Table 1

School's name


Principal's name

Number of students in grade 9

% of success in official exams

Palestine Martyr for boys

Saida, Lebanon. Set Nafissa Street.

Bilal Zeid



Schools have an adequate progress

Nables intermediate school for girls

Saida Lebanon Alsaraya street

Rula Ayoub



MarjBenAmel intermediate school for girls

SaidaLebanon.AIN Alhilwa

Nisreen Ayoub



School labeled at risks

Alsammouaa intermediate school for boys

Saida, Lebanon

Ain alhilwa

Ibrahim Alsaadi




The main instrument used in this study is a questionnaire entitled, "Leadership Orientations" that was filled out by principals in addition in-depth interviews were conducted with four principals, four principal's assistants and forty teachers, ten teachers selected randomly from each school to follow-up on questionnaire responses.

The questionnaire aimed at three main things:

1- Determining the Bolman and Deal leadership and management styles of each principal in each school .

2- Determining to what extent are the differences in principals' frame utilization (structural, human resource, political and symbolic orientations) in schools labeled "at risk" and in schools "making adequate progress" in official exams affect academic achievement

3- Studying the effect of these leadership and management styles of each principal affects the student's achievement.

Personal interviews conducted after filling out the questionnaires served as a means to confirm the results obtained from questionnaires and elaborate on the responses.

We visited all four schools during March and April 2009 and met with the four principals and the four principals' assistants and teachers. The first meeting with the participants was to explain the purpose of the study as well as the nature and purpose of the questionnaires. It was very important to assure all participants that they were not to be evaluated at any stage of the study.

The questionnaires were handed-in to participants during the first meeting in March, and were collected two weeks later. Interviews were conducted with the four principals to give a wild explanation about the important of this study and give a brief description about this technique and it's important in the school's improvement and the development of the school. The interviewees were told of the results of the questionnaires and asked to confirm and/or reject the style(s) that best described them.


Leadership Orientations Questionnaire

The questionnaire used in this study was entitled "Leadership Orientations". It was developed by Bolman and Deal (1990) and intended to explore leadership styles in terms of four frames with the aim of determining which of these styles are identified by individuals as most common. There are two versions of this questionnaire: one intended for the principal themselves to identify their own leadership styles, labeled "self", and the other intended for teachers to identify the leadership styles of principals who work with them in their own schools, labeled "other". Both versions (self and other) contain the same 40 items and are divided into three sections: I) behaviors, II) style, and III) effectiveness.

Section I is intended to determine leadership styles through behaviors. These are classified into four styles: Structural, Human Resource, Political and Symbolic. Each style is divided in turn into two sub-categories (behaviors): a principal with a Structural style is described as Analytic and Organized, a Human Resources principal is described as Supportive and Participative, a Political principal is described as Adroit and Powerful and a Symbolic principal is described as Inspirational and Charismatic. According to Bolman (personal communication, May9, 2006) "The instrument doesn't provide a simple way to specify a dominant style", it is therefore used to determine the most frequently used style. Section II of the questionnaire includes six forced-choice questions that require principals to identify their leadership styles in terms of "categories" rather than behaviors while Section III (effectiveness) intends to elicit responses regarding the effectiveness of individuals as managers and leaders.

In this study, we used sections I (behaviors) and section III only for the following reasons:

1. This section I enables researchers to determine the coordinators' style as well as specific behaviors and thus provides a more detailed description of their role.

2. Section II contained six forced-choice questions which require the respondent to identify the leadership style which describes the coordinator best from among the four styles. The items in this section require that participants be familiar with the Bolman and Deal theory, a fact of which the researcher was not sure about since most principals in these schools were not professionally certified, hence not used to this study. However, we can deduce their leadership styles from their behaviors.

3. Section III deals with effectiveness of as leaders or managers, information that is relevant to the purpose of the study.

The four principals filled-out Section I of the "Self" version of the questionnaire (see Appendix A) while the teachers of the four schools filled out the same section of the "Other" version (see Appendix B). In this study we used Bolman's website ( which mentioned these appendixes.

Section I : Leader Behaviors

Section I of the questionnaire (behavior), which was used in this study, consists of 32 statements representing leadership behaviors used by principals in their day-today performance of tasks. A five-point Likert-scale ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (always) was used to rate how often the described behavior occurred. The 32 statements are grouped into four leadership styles, the Structural, Human Resource, Political, and Symbolic. Each of the leadership styles is in its turn subdivided into two subscales.

For example:

• The Structural Style (items 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29) is divided into two subscales:

- Analytic: includes items 1, 9, 17, 25. An example of items in this subscale is question number 1: "Do you think very clearly and logically"?

- Organized: includes items 5, 13, 21,29. An example of items in this subscale is question number 5: "Do you strongly emphasize careful planning and clear time lines"? (see Appendix A and B).

Section III: Overall Rating

This section includes two one-item measures-perceived effectiveness as a manager and perceived effectiveness as a leader, comparing the principal to other principals with comparable levels of experiences and responsibilities. Respondents are asked to rate the principal from 1 (least) to 5 (most).


The semi-structured interview used in this study included two types of questions: open-ended questions used to probe principals about their responses to the questionnaire, and a number of close-ended questions used to collect information about interview participants (Appendices C& D). The interviews with the teachers (Appendix D) included similar questions to those of the principals (Appendix C) to enable the researcher to conduct a direct comparison between the perceptions of both groups regarding the role of the coordinator.

Instrument Reliability

Bolman and Deal originally reported the reliability of the instrument in 1991 and assessed the internal consistency of the instrument and the s