Principals’ Influence on School Culture, Instruction and Achievement
The effectiveness of school principals has direct effect on the culture of the school they are leading in terms of the instructional medium and the achievement of the students. The culture of the school, the instructional medium, and the achievement of students constitute the elements of a strong background for teaching and learning. Therefore, leadership qualities of principals can make them to successfully achieve the desired educational objectives or fail. This paper underscores that principals have the responsibility of ensuring effective management of the school as a system. It is held herein that effective management of schools depends on the strong control they exercise over the instructional medium. This is a paradigm that has ultimate effect on the culture of the school and by extension, the student achievement.
Although not very clearly defined, culture plays a very significant role in ensuring the performance of a school environment as a system. This otherwise ephemeral aspect that is often taken for granted aspect of schools is actually a very significant feature in educational enterprises. Primarily culture has an impact on all activities going on within the school environment. This includes the dressing code of the staff ad students, interactions and relationships, the willingness of individuals to adapt to change, the instructional practice of the school, and the approach given to student learning
In an investigation by Printy (2008), it was observed that studies on whether principals impact how teachers teach show variations in terms of the conception and measurement of the leadership. They also vary on the practices of instruction. In scenarios where principals have adopted an integrated approach to school leadership there is evidence of compulsion of intellectual challenges that eventually promote leadership capabilities of teachers. This translates to multiple and frequent interconnectivity among teachers as they work in classrooms. Such learning and teaching cultures like the standards based teaching can them be conceived in the school to problem-oriented hence promoting student-centered teaching.
In conclusion, the principals, by applying their leadership styles, have a chance of fulfilling requirements of setting up an ideal environment for teaching and learning in the school they are leading. With respect to this, it is necessary that a school principal demonstrates his qualities of leadership in lieu with the objective of student performance or achievement. This means that the bottom line of cultural transformation is a conceited effort within the teaching and learning environment in which the leadership qualities of the principal are the control factors.
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