Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An investigation into the relationship between instructional leadership practices preferences and personality
by Meier, Susan Roberts, Ed.D., University of Rochester, 2010, 205; 3421826
Abstract (Summary)

Increased pressure on educators to improve student learning has led to a renewed interest in school leadership research, which has found school leadership to be second only to teaching among school-related factors in its impact on student learning (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004). A renewed focus on instructional leadership has resulted in long lists of recommendations intended to guide administrative practices (e.g., Blase & Blase, 2004; Cotton, 2003; Darling-Hammond, 1997; Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005). However, such lists represent a range of skills and styles unlikely to be achievable by any single individual (Copland, 2003; Marzano et al., 2005; Mulford, 2005; Reeves, 2007). Some researchers recommend educational leaders work much closer to the instructional core than previous, generic leadership recommendations (Elmore, 2000; Prestine & Nelson, 2005; Robinson, Lloyd, & Rowe, 2008). Research into effective educational leadership has produced findings which support further research into the personal characteristics of leaders (Leithwood, Harris, & Hopkins, 2008). Jungian personality theory as conceptualized in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a useful tool to study leadership and personality because of its long research history and promise for utility with diverse audiences (Hammer, 1997; Kirby, 1997; Kise & Russell, 2008). This study is unique in examining educational leaders' preferences for research-supported instructional leadership practices using the lens of personality and the variable of the distance from the instructional core of the practices.

The author conceptualized two models of instructional leadership practices organized by the Jungian perception and judgment personality indicators and by levels of distance from the core technology of schooling, or distance from the instructional core. Using an original survey, the investigator found the Myers-Briggs personality type perception function of Intuition/Sensing and judgment function of Feeling/Thinking significantly predicted preferences among pairs of recommended leadership practices. Further, the results showed those preferences were affected by the distance from the instructional core of the leadership recommendations, with administrators' personality-predicted preferences for instructional leadership practices differing significantly in the direction of preferring practices closer to the instructional core. Other variables of age, gender, level of school, experience, or predominant job task description did not significantly predict or affect responses. This investigation shows that many current instructional leadership recommendations are personality type-specific and vary in their distance from the instructional core. Results confirmed the author's models, showing administrators preferred actions that aligned with their personality preferences and were closer to the instructional core of teaching and learning. Results should direct further research into those practices found to affect student learning and thus constitute instructional leadership. Also, given the link between preferences and behavior, results may also suggest exploration of leadership models such as shared or distributed leadership models to increase the likelihood that the most effective instructional leadership practices are preferred and ultimately implemented.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Uebbing, Stephen, DeAngelis, Karen
School: University of Rochester
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Personality psychology, Curriculum development
Keywords: Educational administration, Educational leadership practices, Instructional leadership, Leadership practices, MBTI Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Personality type
Publication Number: 3421826
ISBN: 9781124221922
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