Thearticle “Transformational leadership behaviors of schoolprincipals: A qualitative research based on teachers’ perceptions”was written by Aydin Balyer and published in the International OnlineJournal of Educational Sciences in 2012. The aim of the author was todetermine the impact of the leadership qualities of a principal onthe progress of the school. Balyer focused specifically on thetransformational leadership behaviors that are adopted by individualprincipals. Some of the key qualities that were addressed in thestudy include communication, problem solving, team building, andchange making skills. In addition, the article provided a discussionon the perception of followers about the key leadership features thatare demonstrated by their principals.
Balyeraccomplished the purpose of the article by conducting a qualitativestudy. The study participants included 30 teachers, who wererecruited from six different schools. These participants wererecruited using a purposeful sampling approach. The author identifiedthat the school principals were able to demonstrate a high level offeatures of transformational leadership, which took place in terms ofinspirational motivation, idealized influence, intellectualstimulation, and individualized consideration. Transformationalleadership was defined in the article as the desire as well as theability to enhance the capacity, commitment, and engagement oforganizational members in meeting certain goals.
Thearticle addressed one of the most critical issues that influence theoverall performance as well as the long-term development of theschool. Therefore, the topic is current and relevant. In addition,the qualitative design was a suitable methodology for the studybecause it allowed Balyer to conduct an in-depth analysis of theunderlying issue, which is the application of the features ofqualitative leadership in the administration of schools.Additionally, the total sample of 30 teachers was adequate to achievethe purpose of the overall study. Moreover, the use of the repertorygrid methodology, which is an example of semi-structured interview,allowed Balyer and participants to clarify issues during the processof data collection.
Althoughthe qualitative design allowed Balyer to conduct an in-depth study ofthe application of transformational leadership in the management ofschools, the methodology has two limitations. First, the resultsobtained after conducting a qualitative study cannot be generalizedin other settings and the populations. This drawback limits theapplication of the findings reported in the article. Secondly, thepossibility of the researcher’s bias is a common weakness that isassociated with the application of a qualitative design. Theapplication of the purposeful sampling approach allowed theresearcher to meet multiple interests and needs, but it alsoincreased the risk of bias. Therefore, both the research design andthe sampling technique provided loopholes for subjectivity in theresearch, which limited the reliability of the overall findings thatare reported in the article.
Personalreaction to the article
Balyer’sarticle address one of the most significant topics in the field ofeducation. The findings reported in the article made an importantcontribution to the body of knowledge that focuses on therelationship between school administration and its performance. Mostimportantly, the results encourage the application of thetransformative leadership, which is a suitable approach that can helpthe principals bring the necessary changes to the institutions oflearning. Although the qualitative design increased the risk of bias,the overall quality of the article is reasonable. Therefore, itscontent can be used to advance an idea that the application ofdifferent features of transformational leadership can make aneffective change in the way schools are managed.
Thearticle “The influence of effective leadership on teaching andlearning” was written by Catherine Barrett and Robert Breyer. Thearticle was published in the Journal of Research Initiatives in 2014.The aim of the research conducted by Breyer and Barrrett was todetermine the influence of the principal`s decision to modelinstructional strategies on teachers’ ability to implementstrategies that enhance learning and students’ engagement. The aimof conducting the study was based on an assumption that the schooladministrators are expected to instill passion in educators and offereffective leadership, with the objective of motivating teachers toenergize and engage learners.
TheBreyer and Barrrett pursued the purpose of their study by using acase study of an elementary school that is located in theSoutheastern part of the U.S. The school was comprised of 654students, one literacy coach, one principal, 12 assistant teachers,one assistant principal, and 41 classroom teachers. The resultsreported in the article indicated that educators require anopportunity to see that effective strategies are being implemented bythe leaders of the school. The findings resulted in a conclusion thatthe collaboration between teachers and the school administratorsleads to the success of the institution of learning. The schooladministrators are expected to play the leading role in theimplementation of the new teaching strategies, but give teachers anopportunity to take part in the implementation of the approaches.
Thearticle has two major strengths. First, Breyer and Barrrett used theliterature review to identify trends and gaps. Therefore, theeffective review of literature allowed the researchers to fill theknowledge gap, instead of duplicating the previous studies. Forexample, the authors identified that only a few studies that managedto indicate the role school’s leadership in facilitating themodeling as well as the implementation of new approaches that can beused to enhance the process of learning. Secondly, the application ofthe case study design allowed the researchers to capture the realityof the underlying issue. This element is attributed to the fact thatthe background noise is unavoidable, which enabled the authors tocollect data from the real life situations.
Althoughthe authors were able to capture the reality, the application of thecase study design is associated with a decline in the possibility ofgeneralizing the findings. For example, the study was conducted onone school, and it is not possible to conclude that the findings canbe applied in another institution of learning that is located in adifferent place. In addition, the authors used a reasonable size ofthe study sample, but the inclusion of the assistant principalincreased the risk of collecting skewed data. The assistanceprincipal is a member of the school’s leadership team, whichimplies that there is a possibility that the teachers might havefeared to express their genuine opinions in the presence of anadministrator.
Personalreaction to the article
Thearticle provides a useful insight into different concepts thatinfluence leadership in the institutions of learning, in spite of theexistence of the numerous limitations associated with the type ofmethodology and the sample. The findings can be applied in differentways. For example, schools can adopt active engagement strategiesthat are then modeled through professional development training andfaculty meetings. Strategies that are developed through theengagement of the educators and the leaders enhance the learningprocess. This application is derived from the fact that Breyer andBarrrett managed to establish a positive association betweenleadership and the effectiveness of the learning as well as theteaching processes.
Thearticle “The effect of principal’s leadership style on schoolenvironment and outcome” was written by Eissa Al-Safran, DavidBrown, and Alexander Wiseman. The article was published in theResearch in Higher Education Journal in 2014. The authors aimed toidentify the impact of the leadership style adopted by the principalon the outcome as well as the overall learning environment. Theresearchers also addressed the impact of culture on the schoolleadership. They identified that the leadership style that is used bythe school principals is related to the school outcome and thelearning environment indirectly and directly. For example, schoolsthat were led by principals who used integrative leadership styleswere found to have better outcomes and a proper learning environmentthan those that apply an authoritative approach. Integrativeleadership styles give room for followers (including the teachers) tomake their contribution in the process of decision making. Theauthoritative approaches, on the other hand, are applied when theprincipal makes decisions alone.
EissaAl-Safran, David Brown, and Alexander Wiseman achieved the purpose oftheir study by conducting a qualitative study. They used descriptivestatistics to perform the analysis of the data. The ThirdInternational Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) data for 1995were used to test the hypothesis. The main focus of the research wasthe schools that are located in the U.S. and Kuwait. The successfulanalysis of the data resulted in a conclusion that the associationbetween the styles of leadership used by the principal and thesuccess of the school is statistically significant in the U.S. thanin Ukraine.
Thearticle has three major strengths. First, the authors were able toutilize the literature review to identify the existing gaps andtrends in the area of school leadership. This approach is importantbecause it ensures that the present research is not a replica of theprevious studies, which gave researchers an opportunity to make a newcontribution to the body of knowledge. Secondly, the use ofdescriptive statistics to analyze the data allowed the authors toexamine trends, normality, spread, and the overall reliability of thestudy findings. This achievement can be attributed to the fact thatthe descriptive statistics are simple to work with, discuss, andinterpret.
Althoughthe application of descriptive statistics simplified the process ofdata analysis, it increased the risk of misinterpretation as well asthe misuse. These limitations reduced the reliability of the findingsreported in the article. The application of the cross-sectionaldesign is another weakness that can be identified in the article.This type of study approach is associated with the limitedpossibility of determining the cause-effect association betweendifferent variables. Moreover, the reliance on the data that wascollected in 1995 to make conclusions regarding the associationbetween the school outcome and the leadership style was a significantweakness. The data is quite old and trends might have changed between1995 and 2014 when the article was authored.
Reactionto the article
Thearticle has several strengths and an equal measure of weaknesses.However, its findings made a significant insight into the associationthat exists between the type of leadership style that a principaldecides to apply and the overall performance of the school. Thefindings are an important contribution to the field of schooladministration because they suggest that the success of the school isnot only influenced by the characteristics of the principal and thededication of teachers. The type of leadership style that is appliedby the leaders also determines the success of an institution oflearning.
Al-Safran,E., Brown, D. & Wiseman, A. (2014). The effect of principal’sleadership style on school environment and outcome. Researchin Higher Education Journal,1, 1-19.
Balyer,A. (2012). Transformational leadership behaviors of schoolprincipals: A qualitative research based on teachers’ perceptions.InternationalOnline Journal of Education Sciences,4 (3), 581-591.
Barrett,C. & Breyer, R. (2014). The influence of effective leadership onteaching and learning. Journalof Research Initiatives,1 (2), 1-11.