01 SES 08 C, Principal Leadership for Professional Learning
Highly qualified teachers are globally demanded since teachers play a vital role in effective learning of students. High quality teacher education is an effective way to develop high quality teachers. However, in-service professional development is equally important to improve teacher quality, especially, with the changing demand of education. Thus it is important to identify the contributing factors of professional development of teachers.
Numerous empirical studies found that principal leadership is an important factor that shapes teachers’ participation in PD activities. Principals’ leadership behaviors were strongly associated with teachers’ efficacy (Hipp, 1996), professional commitment and job satisfaction (Anderman, 1991). School leaders could allocate time for teachers to meet in order to promote teacher collaboration and reflective inquiry, which are two types of teacher PD activities (Johnson, 1990; Bryk et al., 1993). Teachers’ professional growth was promoted by principals’ encouraging coaching relationships among teachers, applying adult learning, growth, and development theories to every stage of teacher professional development (Blasé and Blasé, 1999). Gurr, Drysdale, and Mulford (2006) found that successful principals encouraged individual teacher growth and provided opportunities for professional development. Voulalas and Sharpe (2005) found that principals and leadership staff were a critical factor which could transform schools into learning communities. In particular, principals play a critical role in nurturing the development of teachers’ professional learning communities (PLC) by providing conditions and resources to support staff in their continuous learning (Morrissey, 2000). Hipp, Huffman, Pankake, and Olivier (2008) indicated that inclusive leadership, which includes teacher leadership and principal support, is one of the factors that sustain a PLC. Perez (2006) found that principals could foster teacher PLC through creating shared values and vision, promoting collective responsibility, reflective professional inquiry, teacher collaboration, and individual learning activities.
However, most of the aforesaid conclusions on principal leadership and teacher professional development are based on qualitative studies such as interviews and observations. There is a lack of empirical study based on large sample. Also, few studies have addressed whether the impact of principal leadership on teacher PD is universal across countries and cultures. The purpose of this study is to deepen the understanding of the relationship between principal leadership and teachers’ participation in PD activities across countries and cultures through analyzing teacher and school principal data collected by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), thus to provide implications for stakeholders, including principals, researchers, principal preparation programs, and policy makers.
In addition to principal leadership mentioned above, the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey(TALIS) also provides information on teachers’ gender, age, and qualification and school level information on location, student composition, professional development policy of schools. These variables could influence the professional development participation of teachers (Kwakman, 2003; Akiba, 2010), and will be controlled. Specifically, this study focuses on the following research questions:
(1) Is there a significant association between principal leadership and teachers’ participation in PD activities across 22 countries?
(2) Is there a significant association between teachers’ characteristics such as gender, experience, need for PD and teacher’s participation?
(3) Is there a significant association between school characteristics such as pay for PD, schedule of PD and teacher’s participation?
The data derived from the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey(TALIS) of 2008 is used in which teachers’ PD and school leadership are two main themes. The TALIS raw data includes school and teacher-level data from over 4000 schools and over 70000 teachers from 23 countries (OECD, 2009). The target population of survey is lower secondary education (junior high school) teachers and principals. The survey used a two-stage stratified cluster sampling procedure. Schools were selected from each participating country. Then teachers were randomly selected from a list of each eligible school. Separate questionnaires were used for teachers and principals. The cases with missing values are excluded in this study. 46733 teachers from 22 countries are included in the final sample. To measure principal’s leadership, TALIS designed two sets of questions BCG15 and BCG16, which asked school principals about the frequency of engaging in a variety of school management activities and how strongly they agreed with statements about their role in the school (OECD, 2009). Question BCG15 contained 14 items. Question BCG16 contained 15 items. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to produce the constructs that denote leadership style. The CFA produced five indices: framing and communicating school’s goals and curricular development (framing), promoting instructional improvement and professional development (instructional), supervision of the instruction in the school (supervision), accountability role of the principal (accountability), bureaucratic rule-following (bureaucratic). The participation of PD was measured by days that respondent teachers participated in PD in the past 18 months before the survey. The variable pay indicates how much teacher personally had to pay for PD. The variable time represents whether the PD activities were scheduled at regular work hour or not. Teachers’ experience is divided into seven categories. The variable need indicates whether teachers wanted to participate in more professional development than he/she did in the last 18 months. As the conceptual framework indicates, the study employed a multiple linear regression model to examine whether different types of principal leadership activities add to the explanatory power of school factors and teachers’ own characteristics on participation in PD. The original data of the dependent variable days does not meet the assumption of linear model. A logarithm transformation of days was conducted. In sum, Multiple linear regression model is as followed: Log Days= α+ β1Gender + β2Pay + β3Time+ β4Experience + β5Need+ β6Bureaucratic + β7Accountability + β8Supervision+ β9Instructional + β10Framing + e
For the relationship between principal leadership activities and teachers’ participation in PD, first, bureaucratic rule-following leadership activities, framing and communicating the school’s goals and curricular development leadership activities had negative association with teachers’ participation of PD. Potential reason is that controlling behaviors of principals influence the enthusiasm for growth of teachers. Second, principals’ activities of promoting instructional improvements and professional development and taking accountability role had positive and significant association with teachers’ participation of PD. This result confirms findings by other researchers, who showed that principals’ instructional leadership have positive effect on teachers’ professional development (Blasé and Blasé, 1999). Finally, principals’ supervision of the instruction in their schools had no significant effect on teachers’ PD participation. In addition, teachers participated more PD activities scheduled at non regular work hours than these scheduled at regular work hours. The possible reason is that when PD is scheduled at regular work time, it would contradict with teachers’ regular work. Less participation in PD was associated with more need for PD, which seems to be commonsense. The amount that teacher paid for their PD activities was positively associated with the days that teachers spent on PD activities. Compared to other factors, teachers’ paying for PD had very significant association with their participation of PD. School might pay more when teachers pay less for PD holding the cost of PD constant. Therefore, when schools paid more for PD, teacher participated in less PD. The result could be due to psychological reason. Teachers would be more likely to participate in an activity after they paid for it. The result also indicated teachers with more years of experience participated in more PD activities than younger teachers. Female teachers participated in more PD than male teachers.
Akiba. M. (2011). Organization resources for professional development of mathematics teachers. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, University of Missouri, Columbia. Anderman, E. M. (1991). Teacher commitment and job satisfaction: the role of school culture and principal leadership. IL, Chicago: The annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. (Eric No. ED375497) Blasé, J., Blasé, J. (1999). Principals’ instructional leadership and teacher development: teachers’ perspectives. Educational Administration Quarterly August, 35(3), 349-378. Bryk, A. S., Lee, V. E., & Holland, P. B. (1993). Catholic schools and the common good. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Gurr, D., Lawrie Drysdale, L., & Mulford, B. (2006). Models of successful principal leadership. School Leadership and Management, 26(4), 371-395. Hipp, K.A. (1996). Teacher efficacy: influence of principal leadership behavior. New York: The annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. (Eric No. ED396409) Hipp, K. K., Huffman, J. B., Pankake, A. M. & Olivier, D.F. (2008). Sustaining professional learning communities: case studies. Journal of Education Change, 9, 173–195. Johnson, S. M. (1990). Teachers at work: Achieving success in our schools. New York, NY: Basic Books. Kwakman, K. (2003). Factors affecting teachers’ participation in professional learning activities. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19, 149–170. Morrissey, M. S. (2000). Professional Learning Communities: An ongoing exploration. Austin, Texas: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. (2009). TALIS User Guide to the International Database. Retrieved from: http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=TALIS Perez, P.D. (2006).Schools as professional learning communities: the actions of principals. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Taxes-Austin, Austin, Taxes. Voulalas, Z.D. & Sharpe, F.G. (2005). Creating schools as learning communities: obstacles and processes. Journal of Education Administration, 2(3), 187-208.
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Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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