Term of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Walter S. Polka

Committee Member 1

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 2

James Griffin

Abstract

Effective leadership behaviors are imperative in contributing to student achievement and the overall culture of a school. School leaders must mold the culture of the school in order to create an environment which is conducive to learning. Studies on school leadership and student achievement have highlighted the evidence of school leadership behaviors which contribute to student achievement. The purpose of this investigation studied the extent of school leadership behaviors and or characteristics that contribute to student achievement. This study was designed to identify the relationship between the behaviors of the school leader and student achievement. The study determined if teachers and principals perceptions of leadership behaviors contribute to student achievement. More specifically, this investigation was designed to study the behaviors and practices of elementary principals as it relates to student achievement in elementary school students in a large urban school district. Sixty-three elementary teachers and six principals were selected for this study. The six principals were apart of the focus group interview. Data was collected through teacher and principal surveys, audio-taped interviews and transcriptions. SPSS 13.0 was selected as a means to interpret and analyze data. 2 The results of the study support the literature and indicate that principal leadership is critical to student achievement in elementary school students. More specifically, it raised the question about what specific leadership behaviors are used to increase student achievement. This study further clarified that the principal is the primary person for instituting leadership among all within the school which ultimately contribute to student success. The elementary principal has a demanding and challenging job in and of itself, but by recognizing the leadership behaviors, the principal can influence the climate, productivity, effectiveness of their school and ultimately student achievement.

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