26 SES 04 A, Exploring The Link(s) Between Educational Leadership, Turnover And Student Achievement
In today’s global and knowledge-based economy, organizations require unconventional functioning and strategies to survive and thrive in a socioeconomic environment that is increasingly unstable and competitive. It is important that organizations work to develop successful collaboration within and among organizational teams as well as with their external partners to ensure their organizational performance and competitive advantage (Boughzala & DeVreede, 2015). The level of collaboration among employees or the lack thereof determines the quality of the organization’s outcomes. To this end, 21st Century organizations as well as educational settings, have placed more attention on collaborative practices of employees and the fidelity with which they are carrying out those practices.
Decades of research and practical knowledge have revealed that teacher collaboration and collegiality are essential ingredients in school improvement (Datnow, Park, & Kennedy-Lewis, 2013). Such studies have been conducted in countries across the world (see Kelchtermans, 2006 for a comprehensive review). Studies also point to the benefits of a teacher professional community for building teacher capacity (Horn and Little, 2010; Stoll, 2009). Consequently, an increasing number of local educational agencies are promoting teacher collaboration. By doing so, teachers are more likely to implement more relevant and productive teaching practices to better meet needs of the students. As stated in Datnow, Park, & Kennedy-Lewis (2013), the theory is that by working together, teachers will be able to assist each other in making sense of the data, engage in joint action planning, and share instructional strategies. Principals play a critical role in creating an environment where teachers can realize their potential as educators so that they can teach their students at the highest possible level.
The purpose of this study was to develop a theoretically informed model that will examine the determinants of teachers’ collaboration. Specifically, the study was to investigate whether principals’ instructional and distributed leadership practices, teachers’ perceived organizational support, teachers’ instructional and pedagogical beliefs, and teachers’ self- and collective-efficacy beliefs statistically predict their collaboration with their peers.
The study attempted answer the following research questions:
- Controlling teacher and school demographic attributes, do the study variables differ by (a) higher collaborating group of teachers (4rd quartile) and (b) lower collaborating group of teachers (4th quartile), and (c) the entire sample
- Do principals’ instructional and distributive leadership practices, teachers’ perceived organizational support, teachers’ instructional beliefs, teachers’ self-efficacy, and teachers’ collective-efficacy significantly influence teachers’ collaboration in (a) lower collaborating group, (c) higher collaborating group, and (c) the entire sample?
- Do principals’ instructional leadership mediate the relationship between teachers’ instructional beliefs, perceived organizational support, self-efficacy, collective-efficacy and their level of collaboration in (a) lower collaborating group, higher collaborating group, and (c) the entire sample?
- Do principals’ distributive leadership mediate the relationship between teachers’ instructional beliefs, perceived organizational support, self-efficacy, collective-efficacy and their level of collaboration in (a) lower collaborating group, higher collaborating group, and (c) the entire sample?
Social development theory and social interdepence theory guided this study. Vygotsky (1962) suggested that we learn how to interact and communicate from others. His Social Development Theory is based on how educators should create classroom environments to maximize learning for students, however it can be used to maximize learning for teachers as well. Social interdependence (Johnson and Johnson (2008) exists when the accomplishment of each individual’s goals is affected by the action of others (Deutsch 1949a, 1962; Jonson 1970, 2003; Johnson & Johnson 1989, 2005). There are two types of social interdependence, positive (cooperation) and negative (competition). Each type of interdependence results in certain psychological processes (Johnson & Johnson, 2008).
This quantitative study employed a cross-sectional design. The data drawn from the TALIS 2013 US data sets. TALIS is an observational, non-experimental program that collected cross-sectional data. This implies that causal inferences cannot and should not be established with TALIS data alone. This particular study design will not provide a causative relationship. However, it may be instrumental in providing insight regarding practices that contribute to increasing teacher collaboration. The study sample included 534 schools and their principals and 2,623 teachers. After checking for missing cases and outliners, the final usable sample included 507 principals and 2,206 teachers. The initial analysis involved preliminary screening procedures to test for reliability of the constructs and normality. Hierarchical linear regression procedures were conducted to address the first research question which sought to determine whether, after controlling for teacher, principal, and school demographic attributes, the study variables would differ across collaboration groups. Three regression procedures were conducted to address the second research question which sought to determine whether principals’ instructional and distributive practices, teachers’ perceived organizational support, teachers’ instructional beliefs, teachers’ self-efficacy would significantly predict teachers’ collaboration within the lower collaborating group, the higher collaborating group, and the entire sample. The third and fourth research questions, which sought to determine whether principals’ instructional leadership and distributed leadership respectively, would mediate the relationship between teachers’ instructional beliefs, perceived organizational support, self-efficacy, and their level of collaboration within the lower collaborating group, the higher collaborating group, and the entire sample was tested via path analysis.
The first research question sought to determine whether, after controlling for teacher, principal, and school demographic attributes, the study variables would differ across collaboration groups. To answer this research question, ANCOVA procedures were conducted. The control variables were entered in the first step; the collaboration variable was entered in the second step. Results showed that study variables differed for low and high collaborating groups. The second research question sought to determine whether principals’ instructional and distributive practices, teachers’ perceived organizational support, teachers’ instructional beliefs, teachers’ self-efficacy would significantly predict teachers’ collaboration within the lower collaborating group, the higher collaborating group, and the entire sample. To answer this research question, three regression procedures were conducted. Results revealed that within the lower collaborating group, only Perceived Organizational Support significantly predicted collaboration between teachers, β = .18, p = .002. The stronger the perceived support was, the greater the collaboration between teachers. Within the higher collaborating group, only Self-Efficacy significantly predicted collaboration between teachers, β = .19, p = .001. The higher the self-efficacy, the greater was the collaboration between teachers. Within the whole sample, both Perceived Organizational Support and Self-Efficacy positively predicted collaboration between teachers. The third research question sought to determine whether principals’ instructional leadership would mediate the relationship between teachers’ instructional beliefs, perceived organizational support, self-efficacy, and their level of collaboration within the lower collaborating group, the higher collaborating group, and the entire sample. To answer this research question, the proposed full mediation model was tested via path analysis (using the AMOS 23 program). Bootstrapping procedures were conducted to determine the significance of the indirect effects.
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