Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship between School Leadership Practices And School Climate
by Carpenter, Kelly J., Ed.D., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2017, 69; 10275433
Abstract (Summary)

The topic of school climate has been extensively researched to investigate the impact that a school environment has on student learning and growth (Smith, Connolly, & Pryseski, 2014). It is generally believed that strong principal leadership is the single most important factor in school effectiveness (Edmonds, 1979), and an essential job duty of a school principal is to encourage and foster a positive school climate for staff, students, and parents. A positive school climate can enhance staff performance, promote higher morale, and improve student achievement (Kelley, Thornton & Daugherty, 2005). For the purpose of this study, school climate will be defined as the school characteristics that are affected by the leadership style of the principal which then impacts the educational environment and the attitudes and behaviors of each school community member (Kelley, Thornton, & Daugherty, 2005).

Research on the impact of gender and years of experience of the building leader as they relate to effectiveness is inconclusive. Rice (2010) and Clark, Martorell, & Rockoff (2009) as well as Patrick (1995) posit a correlation between experience and gender and leadership effectiveness. However, research by Sawati, Anwar, & Majoka (2013) found no correlation between experience, age, and leadership effectiveness. In the current study I examined the years of experience, building leader’s gender, and leadership ratings by teachers to determine if either of those factors are significant indicators of principal effectiveness within the Collinsville School District. I also examined whether there is a relationship between principal effectiveness (as measured by leadership ratings by teachers) and school climate.

Research has shown that schools that have been identified as being strong in a majority of five components were more likely to improve student learning than schools weak in a majority of those components. These components, known as the five essentials, are effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment, and ambitious instruction. This relationship between the strength of the five essentials and student learning remains even after accounting for other student and school characteristics, including poverty, race, and gender (Illinois State Board of Education, 2014). The 5Essentials survey is intended to advise school improvement by assessing change and delivering customized reports for each school. This online, statewide survey is anonymous and information is collected from Pre-K through 12th grade teachers as well students in grades 6 through 12.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reeves, Alison
Commitee: Buckley, Philip, Puchner, Laurel
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: School climate
Publication Number: 10275433
ISBN: 978-1-369-83801-5
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