All school aims to improve teaching and learning. Though there are differences in how the school will go about it. The task of organizing, coordinating, monitoring and supporting teachers in their efforts to provide high-quality learning opportunities for students are important in developing instructional program that are needed for every classroom. As different as the approaches to school reform are, it lies on their success on the motivations and capacities of leadership. Change of improving student learning is quite complicated unless school leaders agree with its purposes and appreciate what is required to make it work. Instructional leaders must also, ...view middle of the document...
Functioning as leaders, principals can serve to transform school cultures or to maintain them (Firestone & Louis, 1999; Leithwood & Jantzi, 1999). Transformational leadership, put briefly, provides intellectual direction and aims at innovating within the organization, while empowering and supporting teachers as partners in decision making (Conley & Goldman, 1994; Leithwood, 1994). Instructional leadership, as we conceptualize it, replaces a hierarchical and procedural notion with a model of “shared instructional leadership.” Shared instructional leadership involves the active collaboration of principal and teachers on curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Within this model, the principal seeks out the ideas, insights, and expertise of teachers in these areas and works with teachers for school improvement. The principal and teachers share responsibility for staff development, curricular development, and supervision of instructional tasks. Thus, the principal is not the sole instructional leader but the “leader of instructional leaders” (Glickman, 1989, p. 6).
IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study was that it helped to provide an explanation of the existing role of instructional leadership and supervision within the context of a school. The knowledge gained through describing the principal’s and teachers’ perceptions and understandings of instructional leaders and supervision may allow the principal to develop the role as instructional leader within the school.
Hallinger, Bickman, and Davis (1996) found that “elementary school principals who are perceived by teachers as strong instructional leaders promote student achievement through their influence on the school-wide learning climate”. The study provided a description for a principal, as perceived by teachers, to improve the knowledge, function, and role as an effective instructional leader.
There is an increasingly changing role of the principal from that of a traditional school manager and administrator to that of an instructional leader. This change of roles brings with it many expectations of principals, managing the curriculum and instruction, monitoring and providing feedback on the teaching and learning process, communicating a shared vision and goals for the school, and providing teacher development. This study sets out to investigate the extent to which the principal has the basic skills and capacity for engaging in all the above instructional leadership roles, and whether this brings about improvement in learner performance.
The personal significance of the study has provided me with a better understanding of instructional leadership and supervision in order to help develop my abilities, skills, and knowledge as a future administrator.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Instructional Leaders were defined as principals who attempted to “improve instructional programs, teaching, and learning, and student performance by developing a conducive working environment; provide...