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Factors that constitute competence and effectiveness of the principal’s

leadership style


This research describes and examines the factors that influence leadership effectiveness
of principals and the concept of competence of principals using the instructional Leadership as a
leadership style to the system of education. The study explores what defines leadership
competence of principal leaders and how the process of becoming a principal can influence the
effective performance of teachers and students.

Statement of the Problem

The principal is increasingly expected to create a climate that is conducive to teaching

and learning; work towards improving student performance and be accountable for results;
support and supervise teachers’ work in instruction and classroom management; supervise the
use of the curriculum and its localization to ensure its relevance to the school; and ensure
effective staff development programs that are operational in the school and that teachers improve
their professional competence (Atkinson, 2001). These functions define the principal’s new role
as an instructional leader. The challenges of instructional leadership are rooted in the principal-
agent problem. Galal (2002) defines the principal-agent problem as being at the core of any
education reform. The principal (e.g., a ministry official, school principal) is interested in
particular outcomes (such as good quality education) but has to rely on an agent (e.g., teachers)
to obtain these outcomes. Chapman (2008) states that the focus on the principal-agent problem
places more concern with influencing the educational process in classrooms, where the real
activities of learning occur. Lockheed and Verspoor (1991) observe that many of the teaching
practices in developing countries are not conducive to student learning. Teaching practices often
involve instruction for the whole class that emphasizes lectures by the teacher who then has
students copy from the blackboard while offering them few opportunities to ask questions or
participate in learning (Fuller and Heyneman, 1989). The principal as instructional leader is
charged to implement innovative teaching methods that engage students in more active rather
than passive learning. However, teachers are likely to resist the principal’s efforts toward
implementing innovative teaching methods. One reason for teacher resistance to innovation is

captured in the “work-life complexity hypothesis” (Snyder, 1990; Chapman and Mählck, 1997).
When principals introduce policies and instructional activities that alter the activities of - 4 - the
classroom, those instructional interventions may seriously impinge on the work lives of teachers.
Virtually all innovations increase the complexity of teachers’ work lives by expecting them to
learn new content, teach in new ways, or use different instructional materials (Chapman, 2008).
Increased complexity often leads to people to resist innovation (Spillane, Reiser and Reimer,
2002). Principals can respond to this resistance by either lowering the complexity of the
intervention or by increasing incentives so that teachers believe their extra effort is being
rewarded (Chapman, 1997). Kemmerer (1990) discusses instructional support, which includes
training, instructional materials, and supervision, as an incentive for teachers. Instructional
support may contribute to a teacher’s sense of personal efficacy or the teacher’s belief that they
can help students learn. A teacher who does not know what to do in the classroom and has little
opportunity to learn will eventually attend less, or if he or she attends, they will use instructional
time for other activities (Ashton and Webb, 1986). Kemmerer argues that instructional materials
play a crucial role in teachers' assessments of their own instructional competence. Teachers are
more likely to acquire a sense of competence when they are provided with a blueprint for
organizing students, presenting the lesson, and providing feedback and practice. In this regard,
textbooks, particularly in developing countries where other reading materials are scarce, have
been shown not only to affect teacher performance but to have a separate and independent effect
on student learning (Heyneman, Farrell, and Sepulveda-Stuardo, 1981; Verspoor, 1986;
Sepulveda-Stuardo and Farrell, 1983). Kemmerer also argues that teachers, particularly new
ones, require supportive supervision. The principal is in the best position to observe and
influence teachers (Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991). The support, recognition, and approval of
principals are key factors in changing teaching practices (Chapman 1983; Fullan and Pomfret
1977; Waugh and Punch 1987). A study of primary school effectiveness in Burundi documents a
strong and significant relationship between the frequency of teacher supervision by the school
principal and student achievement: student test scores rose as the number of times the school
principal visited the classroom increased. Frequent teacher supervision improved the punctuality
of teachers and their adherence to the curriculum, which in turn produced higher, scores
(Eisemon, Schwille, and Prouty 1989). Traditionally, principals have worked under highly

centralized education systems that limit their power and autonomy in making decisions related to
the core business of school – teaching and learning.

Principals have mainly been engaged as school managers maintaining discipline, ordering
equipment, determining staffing needs, scheduling activities, managing school finances and
resources, allocating staff, and ensuring that teachers keep accurate records (Chapman and
Burchfield, 1994; Chi-Kin Lee and Dimmock, 1999). As a result, principals are more inclined to
perform an administrative function than an instruction-oriented function. Principals in
developing countries function as the lower link in an organization chain that extends from the
school through district supervisors to the central ministerial staff (Lockheed and Verspoor,
1991). They are usually former teachers selected to be principals mainly for their seniority rather
than for their personal traits or performance. Principals often operate under significant
constraints, such as chronic shortage of materials, operating funds, and staff development
resources, which make instructional improvement extremely difficult to achieve. Also, principals
are overburdened with administrative tasks and find it difficult to make time for instructional
improvement. The extent to which principals regard supervision as part of their responsibility
varies across countries since it is often performed by district inspectors or teacher supervisors
that are usually far removed from the schools and their teachers. However, as a by-product of
decentralization, principals are expected to take responsibility for supervision. This last point is
crucial in terms of expecting principals to spearhead any school improvement efforts toward
student achievement (Chapman, 2000). School principal training before the appointment is
virtually nonexistent among developing countries, except for on-the-job training for a teacher
who has served as a deputy or assistant principal. Studies in Egypt, Indonesia, and Paraguay have
found that a principal's teaching experience and instructional leadership training (number of
courses taken) are related to higher student achievement (Fuller 1987; Heyneman and Loxley
1983; Sembiring and Livingstone 1981). However, only a handful of countries, such as China,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Thailand, have addressed
the need to improve school management, primarily by establishing institutions to train school
principals (Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991). Such institutes face three problems. First, they cannot
accommodate the number of new principals needed to run the burgeoning number of schools.
Second, no consensus has been reached about what the curriculum should reflect and who should
provide the training. Third, the national policies for training administrators are not coherent,

which hinders the effectiveness of these institutes (Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991; Chapman,
2002; Hallinger and Leithwood, 1996). The aim of the current study is to address the need for
improving the principal’s capacity and competence to assume new roles and duties in a
decentralized system.

Moreover, the study focuses on the principal’s competencies in the Philippines and their
capacity for providing instructional support to teachers. Principalship in the Philippines is an
ideal case for examination. Principals are facing the challenges of working within a recently
decentralized education system while learning to become instructional leaders through formal

Content Summary

Dimensions of Leadership Effectiveness In line with Houston and Dockstader (2002),

Alabi and Alabi (2010) conceptualize quality of leadership as the ability to achieve a vision and
continuously improve the human, economic and social capital of the organization or outfit in a
sustainable manner. Every leader who wants to give quality leadership must first have a vision,
mobilize resources to achieve that vision and use the resources prudently to achieve and improve
upon what is achieved (Zhu, Chew and Spangler, 2005). Leadership in this context is, therefore,
not limited to human aspects of influencing or inspiring commitment towards the goal alone.

The importance of instructional leadership was recognized in the 1970s, yet it was not
well understood due to the term defined differently by different researchers. From the review of
the literature found two views of scholars on instructional leadership. These are the “narrow”
conception-those actions that are directly related to teaching and learning or observable
behaviours such as classroom supervision and the “broad” conception which entails all
leadership activities that affect student learning. Emphasizing the concept of instructional
leadership describes that it is likely to be more effective when it is conceptualized as “broad”
rather than “narrow” because it increases the scope for other leaders to play a role as well as the
principal recognizes how social organizations operate. From these aforementioned different
concepts of instructional leadership researchers and scholars acknowledge that there is no single
clear definition of instructional leadership or specific guideline as to what a principal as an
instructional leader does in a school.

The following are the perception that instructional principal/leaders need to perform to
become competent:

Principal as Instructional Leader

The principal as instructional leader actively promotes more effective practices in the
teaching and learning processes and recognizing instructional priorities rather than by serving as
a school manage. Researchers identified different instructional leader’s role in their studies. For
instance, McEwan in has identified instructional leaders role as establishing clear instructional
goals, being resourceful for staff, creating a school culture and climate conducive to learning,
communicating the vision and mission of the school, setting high expectations for staff,
developing teacher leaders, maintaining positive attitudes toward students, staff, and parents (in
the same way Leithwood and Riehl in noted, four characteristics and practices for effective
principals which seeming to matter the most: setting directions that secure the physical
environment and achieve high academic standards, developing people to use effective
instructional strategies and interventions, redesigning the organization to include teachers and
parents in decision-making, and managing the curriculum effectively by staffing the school with
teachers who align with the mission and direction and buffering them from distractions.
According to the principals need to have the competence to: create a shared vision and clear
goals for their schools and ensure continuous progress toward achieving the goals; support the
implementation of high-quality standards-based instruction that results in higher levels of
achievement for all students; provide opportunities for all members of the school community to
build their capacity and participate in important school decisions; allocate resources and
manage school operations in order to ensure a safe and productive learning environment and
engage parents and community members in the educational process and create an environment
where community resources support student learning, achievement and wellbeing. This implies
that the role of instructional leadership is pivotal in creating a conducive learning atmosphere in
the school.

Instructional Leadership as Models

Many conceptual models of instructional leadership have emerged from the studies on
instructional leadership by studying the behaviour of principals whose schools are perceived as

effective schools. The instructional leadership model developed by using qualitative research
with primary heads of small schools in England and Wales found three strategies that are
particularly effective in improving teaching and learning: modelling―in which principals used
their teaching as an example of what and how to do things, work alongside staff in their
classrooms, coaching staff and consciously used assemblies as occasions when they could
promote and reinforce educational values and practices; in monitoring the heads look at
teachers’ weekly plans, visiting classrooms, examining samples of pupils’ work, observing the
implementation of school policies, reviewing test and assessment, evaluating pupil, class and
school levels of performance and progress. While, a professional dialogue was developed
through staff meetings, preparing curricular policies together, reviewing practice, looking at
pupil learning data, joint planning meetings and general teamwork. The other model developed
by finding two dimensions of instructional leadership (talking strategies with teachers to promote
reflection and promoting professional growth). Talking strategies with teachers to promote
reflection dimension include: making suggestions, giving feedback, modelling, using inquiry and
soliciting advice and opinions, and giving praise. In promoting professional growth dimension
principals used six strategies including: emphasizing the study of teaching and learning;
supporting collaboration efforts among educators; developing coaching relationships among
educators; encouraging and supporting redesign of programs; applying the principles of adult
learning, growth, and development to all phases of staff development; and implementing action
research to inform instructional decision making. The third model discussed in this paper is
Hallinger and Murphy’s model which found three dimensions for the instructional leadership
role of the principal: defining the school’s mission, managing the instructional program, and
promoting a positive school learning climate.
An effective instructional leader can promote a positive school learning climate by
protecting instructional time, promoting professional development, maintaining high visibility,
providing the incentive for teachers and for a learner. Under this dimension identified the
following five roles that instructional leaders need to perform.
1) Protecting instructional time: The principal can control this area of activity through the
development and enforcement of school-wide policies. Principals who successfully implement
policies that limit interruption of classroom learning time can increase allocated learning time
and student achievement.

2) Providing incentive for teachers an important part of the principal’s role in creating a positive
learning climate involves setting up a working structure that rewards and recognizes teachers for
their efforts.
3) Providing incentive for learners: this principal’s role can create a school climate in which
students value academic achievement by frequently rewarding and recognizing students’
academic achievement both within the class and before the school as a whole. Thus, the principal
is a key factor in linking the classrooms and school reward system, ensuring that they are
mutually supportive.
4) Promoting professional development: principals need to promote professional development
through organizing and leading in-service training activities and ensure that staff development
activities are closely linked to school goals. The principal needs to create opportunities for
professional development and growth of the staff. The focus of the instructional leader should be
more orientated to staff development than to performance appraisal. This may enrich the
teaching experience of educators or motivating them to attend such programmes.

5) Maintaining high visibility: high visibility of principal’s in school campus and in classrooms
increases interaction between the principal and students as well as with teachers. Instructional
leaders are expected to spend most of their time dealing strictly with curricula matters rather than
administrative functions. Hence to have credibility as an instructional leader, the principal should
also be a practising teacher. Instructional leadership as an active, collaborative form of
leadership where the principal works with teachers and students to shape the school as a
workplace in relation to shared goals.
6. Giving Feedback: Effective principals “hold up a mirror”, serve as another set of eyes, and are
critical friends who engage in thoughtful discourse with teachers. Their feedback focused on
observed classroom behaviour, was expressed caring and interest, provided phrase, established a
problem-solving orientation, respond to concerns about students, and stressed the principal’s
availability for follow up talk. The effects of this feedback included increased teacher reflection,
innovation/creativity, instructional variety, risk-taking, better planning for instruction, and
improved teacher motivation, efficacy, sense of security and self-esteem.

Principalship is a professional occupation that requires specific preparation. Similarly
stated that the principal is the leading professional in the school and the major role of the
principal is providing professional leadership and management for a school.

Principals could improve as an instructional leader and enhance the quality of teaching
and learning through:

Sharing Leadership
Guiding a school staff to reach a common vision requires intensive and sustained
collaboration. After all, it is the expertise of teachers upon which any quality educational system
is built. Wise principals know that going it alone makes meeting instructional goals virtually
impossible. A key responsibility of school leaders is to sustain learning, and this can best be
accomplished through leading learning endeavours that are focused on long-term outcomes
rather than short-term returns. Additionally, distributing leadership throughout a school and
providing for leadership succession are indispensable to a school's success (Hargreaves & Fink,
2003). "Leaders influence others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how.
This process requires the facilitation of individual and shared efforts to accomplish common
objectives (Kyrtheotis & Pashiardis, 1998b, p. 3).
In sharing leadership, principals collaborate with teachers to evaluate issues related to
curriculum, instruction, and assessment. As part of this collaborative process, teacher leaders
provide valuable insight and ideas to principals as they work together toward school
improvement. Principals who tap into the expertise of teachers throughout the process of
transforming their schools and increasing the focus on learning are more successful. And a
valuable byproduct for principals who collaboratively focus on instructional leadership is that
they are less likely to burn out (Marks & Printy, 2003).
Tapping the Expertise of Teacher Leaders
Principals can accomplish this essential responsibility by providing individual support,
challenging teachers to examine their own practices, and securing models of best practice.
Additionally, effective principals develop and depend on leadership contributions from a variety
of stakeholders, including teachers and parents (Leithwood et al., 2004). As key instructional
leaders, principals share their leadership with teachers to promote reflection and collaborative
investigation to improve teaching and learning. Subsequently, teacher leaders lead change from

the classroom by asking questions related to school improvement, and they feel empowered to
help find the answer (Reason & Reason, 2007).
In practical terms, principals talk to teachers, provide staff development, and support
lifelong learning about teaching and learning (Blase & Blase, 1999). They also create
opportunities for teachers to work together and share teaching practices with one another. What
they tend not to do, however, is to exhibit directive leadership styles (Mendel, Watson, &
MacGregor, 2002). Consequently, principals are not the only instructional leaders in a school.

Leading a Learning Community

Today's principals must become role models for learning while continually (or at least
regularly) seeking tools and ideas that foster school improvement (Lashway, 2003). Simply put,
schooling is organized around two key functions: (1) teaching and learning, and (2) organizing
for teaching and learning. Thus, it seems clear that school principals need to manage the
structures and processes of their schools around instruction.
Particular features of effective principals and their role in leading the learning community
include the following:
 Effective principals tend to the learning of all members of a school community (Lashway, 2003).

 Effective principals also serve as participatory learners with their staffs (Prestine & Nelson,

 Successful instructional leaders provide conditions through staff development that incorporate
the study of professional literature and successful programs, demonstration and practice of new
skills, peer coaching, and use of action research focused on student data, and they study the
effect of new strategies on students (Blase & Blase, 1999).

 Instructional leadership requires a broader view that incorporates the expertise of teachers
(Fullan, 2002).

 Schools that work (i.e., that are successful by various measures) have leadership that provides
meaningful staff development (Marzano et al., 2005).

Principals as Learners
Effective principals make student success pivotal to their work and, accordingly, pay
attention to and communicate about instruction, curriculum, and student mastery of learning
objectives and are visible in the school. Learning needs to occur throughout an organization and
principals need to become participants in the learning process in order to shape and encourage
the implementation of effective learning models in their schools. To illustrate, effective
principals don't just arrange for professional development; rather, they participate in staff
training provided to their staffs. Additionally, good principals foster the idea of working together
as a valuable enterprise because they understand that this kind of collaborative learning
community ultimately will build trust, collective responsibility, and a school-wide focus on
improved student learning (Prestine & Nelson, 2003).

Using Data to Make Instructional Decisions

Effective principals skillfully gather information that determines how well a school
organization is meeting goals and use that information to refine strategies designed to meet or
extend the goals. Thus, they find themselves in a constant state of analysis, reflection, and
refinement. They challenge their staff to reexamine assumptions about their work and how it can
be performed. Beyond the ability to successfully gather and analyze school data, principals need
to possess basic skills for using these data for setting directions, developing people, and
reinventing the organization. The use of appropriate data helps to maintain a consistent focus on
improving teaching and learning, and, consequently, effective principals accept no excuses for
lack of success to improve student learning (Leithwood & Riehl, 2003).

A summary of key indicators of the role of effective principals and gathering and using
data in their schools are:
 Effective school leaders skillfully gather data and use them to determine school effectiveness
(Leithwood & Riehl, 2003).

 Continuous improvement requires an examination of the data (Fullan, 2005).

 Greater results are achieved when principals encourage school staff to actively analyze data for
improving results (Zmuda et al., 2004).

Monitoring Curriculum and Instruction

There are good reasons to focus on school leadership. The importance of the principal's
role has never been greater, taking into consideration national accountability standards for
schools and the likelihood that principal job vacancies will increase in the near future. Not only
do effective principals focus attention on curriculum and teaching, but they also understand

teaching and possess credibility in the eyes of their staff (Mazzeo, 2003). Schmoker (2006)
suggested that too often school cultures discourage close scrutiny of instruction. He says that
effective leaders can raise the level of importance by looking for evidence that curriculum
standards are taught through the review of formative assessments, grade books, team lesson logs,
and student work.
Principals support instructional activities and programs by modelling expected behaviours,
participating in staff development (as noted earlier), and consistently prioritizing instructional
concerns on a day-to-day basis. They strive to protect instructional time by removing issues that
would detract teachers from their instructional responsibilities (Marzano et al., 2005). Moreover,
principals in effective schools are involved in instruction and work to provide resources that keep
teachers focused on student achievement. They are knowledgeable about curriculum and
instruction and promote teacher reflection about instruction and its effect on student achievement
(Cotton, 2003).
To do so successfully requires that principals are confident in their ability not only to
assess the quality and effectiveness of teachers but also to take the necessary actions when the
instruction is weak (Painter, 2000).
Existing research related to the role of the principal and monitoring curriculum and
instruction indicates the following:
 Effective principals possess knowledge of the curriculum and good instructional practices
(Cotton, 2003) and, subsequently, focus their attention in their schools on curriculum and
instruction (Mazzeo, 2003).

 Effective principals monitor the implementation of curriculum standards and make sure they are
taught (Schmoker, 2006).

 Effective principals model behaviours that they expect of school staff (Marzano et al., 2005).

 Principals are in a good position to support teacher effectiveness through observations and
conversations with teachers (Cooper et al., 2005).

 Principals need to spend time in classrooms in order to effectively monitor and encourage
curriculum implementation and quality instructional practices (Fink & Resnick, 2001; Pajak &
McAfee, 1992; Ruebling et al., 2004).

 Teachers and principals feel it is important to have someone to steer the curriculum and prioritize
staff development (Portin et al., 2003).

 Teachers too frequently view classroom observations as a means to satisfy contractual

obligations rather than as a vehicle for improvement and professional growth (Cooper et al.,

 In effective schools, principals are able to judge the quality of teaching and share a deep
knowledge of instruction with teachers (Fink & Resnick, 2001).

 An effective leader promotes coherence in the instructional program where teachers and students
follow a common curriculum framework (Leithwood & Riehl, 2003).

 Effective principals trust teachers to implement instruction effectively, but they also monitor
instruction with frequent classroom visits to verify the results (Portin et al., 2003).

In closing, it can be inferred that principals as instructional leaders are goal-oriented.

They take the lead in defining a clear direction for their schools and personally coordinate efforts
to increase learner achievement. They are required to manage the curriculum, and monitor and
evaluate the quality of teaching and learning (Bush, 2007; Copeland, 2003; Yu, 2009; Hallinger,
2009). Principals should at all times strive for an excellent teaching and learning environment
that emphasizes high learner achievement. They are required to provide the necessary resources
for learning and create new learning opportunities for learners and teachers. Instructional leaders
should forge partnerships with teachers as colleagues by spending more time in classrooms and
engaging teachers in conversations about learning and teaching. Professional conversations and
professional development should revolve around the improvement of instruction, how learners
learn, and appropriate teaching strategies for different contexts (Hoy & Hoy, 2009). It is not
expected that principals have proficiency in subject content but that they become knowledgeable
about the latest trends in education, innovative teaching methods, state-of-the-art resources, and
cutting-edge assessment methods. They should be familiar with innovative theories and practices
and motivate teachers to model these classrooms.

1. Authors Perspective

School principals are faced with new demands, more complex decisions and additional
responsibilities than ever before. Their day is usually filled with diverse administrative and

management functions such as procuring resources, managing learner discipline, resolving
conflicts with parents and dealing with unexpected teacher and learner crises. However, it is
imperative for school principals to accentuate their role as instructional leaders by emphasizing
best teaching practices and keeping their schools focused on curriculum, teaching, and
assessment to meet learner needs and enhance learner achievement. Using open-ended
questionnaires and personal interviews with eight school principals, this study investigated how
the principals perceived and experienced their functions as instructional leaders to improve
learner performance.

Research Authors recommend:

i. that the principal should involve teachers, students and the community in the
formulation of vision and mission and communicate to them and frequently
evaluate their daily activities against what is stipulated in the mission statement.
This approach could help all to internalize the school aims as their own and
become more committed to its implementation.
ii. that the principals should give attention to staff development through identifying
the training needs of teachers, planning, organizing and coordinating training in
the school and enhancing teachers’ capacity through workshops, seminars and in-
service training. Similarly, the local administrative education office, the zone
education department and the regional education bureau should emphasize on
staff development programs.

2. Important themes
 Building and sustaining a school vision
 Sharing leadership
 Leading a learning community
 Using data to make instructional decisions
 Monitoring curriculum and instruction
3. Any Significant Quotes

From the contention above I come up with these following quotations as regards to
instructional leadership;

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to
see it in themselves.” Stephen Covey

This Covey quote retells me that you can lead from any role or position. It does not shun
a person to perform its duty. It expresses that to lead, one must create conditions to follow. It is
all about what you do for others, not for yourself.

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t
necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” -Rosalynn Carter

This is a gentle reminder that “great” leadership is hard working. It is easy to become a
leader and just lets people “do their thing,” but it is not always effective. Great leadership not
only grows the organization but the individual, knowing that increasing the individual, develops
the organization. Leadership can be hard and filled with difficult conversations, but that is part of
the change process.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give
orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea” Antoine de Saint

You will never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new
model that makes the existing model obsolete. – R. Buckminster Fuller

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. African Proverb

A reminder…

The legacy of a leader is not in what they do, but what the people they serve do because
of their leadership.

4. Findings and Conclusions

The following are the findings of the researchers;
4.1 The findings of the study showed that the instructional leadership role is
mostly carried out by shared leadership and responsibilities among principal, deputy
principals and head of departments. However, the school principals spent more of

their time on administrative tasks rather than instructional tasks. This implies that
there is unbalance between administrative tasks and instructional tasks of the
principal’s role. The finding of the study also disclosed that the principal needs to
engage in many activities as an instructional leader to improve teaching and learning.
These activities include: the principal needs to set school vision, mission, goal and
objectives with staff, clearly communicate the visions and mission to stakeholders
and ensure that all members cooperate towards a common goal; principal as
instructional leader needs to organize different pieces of training for staff
development; principal as instructional leader needs to create a positive climate for
teaching and learning and to ensure effective teaching and learning in school; and to
enhance quality education principal needs to have professional skills in school
management and leadership..

4.2 principal’s roles are to plan and lead the processes of professional development and
learning in accordance with school policy and the professional needs and aspirations of teachers,
in keeping with the stages of their teaching careers. Working on staff development ensures the
effective implementation of the school objectives and enhances education quality.
4.3 instructional leaders are to create a positive climate for teaching and learning. Even
though teaching and learning is a core task in the school, it was less emphasized. Thus, the
principal should develop clear evaluation criteria that mostly focus on teaching tasks and has to
be communicated to the staff. Similarly, the research finding revealed that interruption of
teaching and learning time is a serious problem in the school. If not managed properly it can
hamper the implementation of instructional programs and as a result, it affects the quality of
4.4 School principals were untrained in school leadership. As stated in different kinds of
literature and also by Ministry of education of Ethiopia, the principal is the leading professional
in the school and the major role of the principal is providing professional leadership and
management for a school. This implies that principals should be competent and skilful in order to
lead the school. It is therefore important that the town administrative education office should
work collaboratively on the training of the principals in school leadership through workshops,
on-job and off-job training to develop the capacity of principals in order to make the school
leadership more effective.

4.5 Administrative tasks took much of the principals’ time rather than instructional
activities. Furthermore, it was found that the principals gave less emphasis for: instructional
supervision, extra-curricular activities, teachers’ training and development, provision of
instructional materials and protection of teaching time. For a school to be successful, the
principal has to balance the administrative tasks and instructional tasks.

4.6 Finally, findings revealed that many school principals repudiated claims that their
primary function was to manage teaching and learning. However, those school principals that
place a high priority on curricular matters undoubtedly influence teacher and learner
performance positively.

The following conclusions were drawn from the research related to the role of becoming
a competent principal and building and sustaining the school's vision:

 First and foremost, principals need to have a clear vision for their schools (Manasse, 1985;
Zmuda, Kuklis, & Kline, 2004).

 Schools need principals who strive to ensure the quality of instruction in their schools (Harris,
2007; Marzano et al., 2005; Portin et al., 2003).

 Principals of high-achieving schools expect teachers and students to meet the schools' goals
(Leithwood & Riehl, 2003).

 Principals of high-achieving schools are confident that their schools can meet their goals (Cotton,

 Principals who focus on school improvement have more effective schools (Shen & Hsieh, 1999).

 Principals of high-achieving schools communicate to all stakeholders that learning is the school's
most important mission (Cotton, 2003; Marzano et al., 2005).

Personal Analysis

In order to meet the challenges associated with local and national expectations, principals
must focus on teaching and learning especially in terms of assessable student improvement to an
extra amount. Accordingly, today's principals concentrate on building a vision for their schools,
sharing leadership with teachers, and influencing schools to operate as learning communities.
Accomplishing these essential school improvement efforts requires gathering and assessing data
to determine needs, and monitoring instruction and curriculum to determine if the identified
needs are addressed.

Effective principals understand that it is important to create clear learning goals and
gather school-wide and even communitywide commitment to these goals. Principals have a duty
to always hold the expectations that teachers and students will meet these goals and hold
themselves accountable for the success of the school. Principals provide emotional support for
teachers and are viewed as possessing the ability to foster positive interpersonal relationships.
Principals should ensure that student progress is monitored through the continual aggregation
and disaggregation of student performance data that are directly related to the school's mission
and goals. Principals of high-achieving schools are confident that they will accomplish their
vision and goals despite challenges and setbacks and, thus, serve as role models for staff and
students and when milestone achievements are reached, those successful results are celebrated.

School principals who focus on a vision for their schools nurture the leadership
capabilities of their teachers. If the schools are moving in the right direction, they model
effective leading and learning. Combining these efforts by using data appropriately, as well as
monitoring what takes place at the classroom level, will increase the likelihood that school
principals will achieve their goals for student learning.
In the light of this view, I recommended that the principal has to practice clinical supervision,
strengthen curricular and extra-curricular activities and monitor students’ progress in collaboration with
deputy principals, head of departments, teachers, students and parents. Thus, I would like to recommend
that the principal should protect teaching time by developing a code of conduct for teachers and students
in order to abide by the rules and regulations of the school. Besides this, the principal should hold
meetings with teachers and students out of class time. Finally, I recommended that the principals

need to be trained in school management and leadership in order to be competent as an
instructional leader along with suggestions for further empirical investigation.


Alabi, J. & Alabi, G., 2010, ‘Factors Influencing Quality of Leadership in Higher Institutions of
Learning in Ghana’, Journal of Business Research Vol. 4, Nos. 1&2, Alabi, J. and Alabi, G.,
2011, ‘Institutional
Evaluation Programme (IEP) as a Governance Tool in a Higher Institution of Learning in
Ghana’, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 5, Nos. 1&2.
The Role of School Principal as Instructional Leader: The Case of Shambu Primary School,
Department of Educational Planning and Management, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia. Mulugeta Wende Geleta

Related Resources: Danielson, 2007; Donaldson, 2007; Dozier, 2007; Harrison & Killion,
2007; Lieberman & Friedrich, 2007; Wade & Ferriter, 2007.
Related Resources: Brimijoin, Marquisse, & Tomlinson, 2003; Guskey, 2003; Marzano, 2003;
Parsons, 2003; Schmoker, 2003.
Related Resources: Armstrong, 2007; Wise, 2001.
Qualities of Effective Principals
By: James H. Stronge, Holly B. Richard and Nancy Catano
Building Your School's Capacity to Implement RTI: An ASCD Action Tool
(2011 Patricia Addison and Cynthia Warger.)
Principals and Student Achievement: What the Research Says (2003)
Kathleen Cotton.
Improving Teaching with Collaborative Action Research: An ASCD Action Tool (2011)
Diane Cunningham.


Students Name: FELY GRACE CAMOS, C.

Subject: Educ 211 - Educational Leadership

Professor: Dr. Alma Hordista