Situational leadership: An analysis of public school teachers readiness levels and preferred principal leadership styles

Terry Franklin, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was threefold. The primary purpose was to determine the readiness levels of public school teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels for the tasks in which teachers are required to perform: (a) management of instructional time, (b) management of student behavior, (c) instructional presentation, (d) facilitating instruction, (e) interacting within the educational environment, (f) performing non-instructional duties, (g) instructional monitoring of student performance, and (h) instructional feedback. The second purpose was to identify the preferred leadership styles of school principals—directing, guiding, supporting, and delegating. The third purpose of the study was to determine if there was a relationship between teacher readiness levels and years of teaching experience. ^ Readiness is the capacity of individuals or groups to set high attainable goals and their willingness and ability (readiness level) to take responsibility. In situational leadership, there are four leadership styles—directing, guiding, supporting, and delegating. The situational leadership theory suggests that the leadership style of the school principal should change as the readiness levels of teachers to perform a specific task change. According to the situational leadership theory, school principals should adopt a directing leadership style for teachers with low readiness, a guiding leadership style for teachers with low to moderate readiness, a supporting leadership style for teachers with moderate to high readiness, and a delegating leadership style for teachers with high readiness. Readiness is always assessed at the task level. In this study, the teaching tasks in which readiness was assessed were: (a) management of instructional time, (b) management of student behavior, (c) instructional presentation, (d) facilitation of instruction, (e) interacting within the educational environment, (f) monitoring student performance, (g) performing non-instructional duties, and (h) instructional feedback. ^ Public school teachers in the state of North Carolina were selected randomly to participate in the study. Elementary, middle and high schools from a small, medium and large school district constituted the stratified cluster sample. This sample consisted of 17 schools and 266 teachers. ^ The results of the study indicated that public school teachers in North Carolina are at a moderate to high level of readiness to perform the eight teaching tasks. Correspondingly, public school teachers in North Carolina prefer school principals to lead with a supporting or delegating style of leadership. Additionally, the study revealed that a relationship exists between years of teaching experience and teacher readiness to perform teaching tasks. Finally, the study revealed that the age of the teacher may contribute to the readiness of the teacher to perform teaching tasks. ^ The study recommended the conduct of longitudinal research designs to test situational leadership theory effects in schools. Further, the study recommended state departments of public instruction develop effective assessment instruments principals may use to assess the readiness of school teachers. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Terry Franklin, "Situational leadership: An analysis of public school teachers readiness levels and preferred principal leadership styles" (January 1, 2000). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. Paper AAI3345644.
http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI3345644

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