The relationship between the perceived instructional leadership skills of four elementary principals and the effectiveness of their schools

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan - Committee Chair


Instructional leadership skills of elementary principals in the St. Thomas/St. John School district and the effectiveness of their schools were examined. The study sample of four principals and their teachers, students, and parents of students were randomly selected from a population of 15 elementary principals and their schools, within one school district. Schools were grouped as high and low by the Virgin Islands Leadership in Education Administration Development Assessment (VILEADA, which measured school effectiveness) schools--two schools per group. Eighty-four teachers comprised the teacher sample--42 from each of the high and low school groups (three questionnaires from the low group were blank). Students were randomly selected from students in grades five and six who attended that school for three years or more. Ninety students questionnaires were returned of which seven and three were unuseable for the low and high groups respectively. Twenty students from each of the four schools comprised the student sample. Parents were randomly selected from those who had students at that school for the past three years or more. Sixty-three parent questionnaires were returned of which four and one were unuseable for the high and low groups respectively. Fifty-eight parents comprised the parent sample, 28 from high and 30 from low school groups.Questionnaires were used to solicit views on the principal's instructional leadership and school effectiveness. Responses were cross-tabulated according to the two school groups. The null hypothesis, that there is no significant relationship between the perceived instructional leadership skills of elementary principals and the effectiveness of their schools, was tested for each group of respondent by the chi-square statistic. The null hypothesis was rejected for each respondent group (principal, teacher, student, parent).Findings indicated that instructional leadership skills and school effectiveness were mixed. The importance of the role of the principal in providing instructional leadership was underscored. Principals who were instructional leaders portrayed skills which were different to those principals who were non-instructional leaders. There were marked differences in student achievement between more effective and less effective schools.Findings supported the general conclusion that a supportive school team, led by an instructional leader, who involves the team in decision making and problem solving processes of the school, is essential for an effective school.


Education, Administration; Education, Elementary

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