Sources of instructional leadership in elementary and junior high schools: Perceptions by the schools' faculty

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

E. John Kleinert - Committee Chair


The major purpose of this study was to examine how instructional leadership is presently distributed in the elementary and the junior high schools studied, and to determine the differences between the two levels.Sources of Instructional Leadership (SOIL) is a reliable and validated instrument that was used in this survey research. The instrument allowed the participating faculty in eight elementary schools (N = 202) and in eight junior high schools (N = 219) to report their perceptions of leadership and contribution by principals, assistant principals, department chairs, and teachers with respect to the 31 instructional leadership tasks contained in 'SOIL.'The data were analyzed with the use of descriptive statistics that included frequencies, mean values, and standard deviation measures. Reliability based on internal consistency was assessed for the individual role scales in the instrument.The principal findings are: (1) While perception of leadership for the 31 tasks is generally high for the elementary principals, it is generally low for the junior high principals, except for a number of administrative tasks. Accordingly, the instructional leadership performance of elementary principals consistently exceeds that of the junior high principals over the complete range of the 31 tasks. (2) Perception of leadership for the 31 tasks, though marginally higher for the junior high assistant principals, is generally low for assistant principals in both levels with the exception of some administrative tasks. (3) Perception of leadership for the 31 tasks is very low for the department chairs in both levels. It is, however, substantially higher in many instances for the junior high department chairs when compared to the elementary department chairs, with an essentially constant difference over all 31 tasks. (4) Teachers in both levels show an identical leadership profile over all 31 tasks. They are generally not perceived to be performing instructional leadership tasks in the schools studied.


Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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