Collaborative leadership and school improvement: Understanding the impact on school capacity and student learning

Citation Hallinger, P., & Heck, R. H. (2010). Collaborative leadership and school improvement: Understanding the impact on school capacity and student learning. School leadership and management, 30(2), 95–110. Taylor & Francis. Sidewiki
BibDesk PDF

BibTex

BibTex

BibTex

@article{hallinger2010collaborativea,
author = {Hallinger, Philip and Heck, Ronald H.},
date-added = {2016-06-18 23:02:50 -0400},
date-modified = {2016-06-18 23:38:34 -0400},
journal = {School leadership and management},
keywords = {collaborative leadership},
number = {2},
pages = {95–110},
publisher = {Taylor & Francis},
title = {Collaborative leadership and school improvement: Understanding the impact on school capacity and student learning},
volume = {30},
year = {2010},
bdsk-file-1 = {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}

}

Links here

Highlights

collaborative school leadership can positively impact student learning in reading and math through building the school’s capacity for academic improvement. p. 2

leadership for student learning as a process of mutual influence in which school capacity both shapes and is shaped by the school’s collective leadership. p. 2

This paper describes findings from a series of related quantitative studies in which we sought to understand how leadership contributes to school capacity for improvement and student learning. p. 3

In this paper, we compare four conceptual perspectives or models: p. 3

A direct effects model in which leadership is conceptualised as the primary driver for changes in student learning. p. 3

A mediated effects model in which leadership drives growth in student learning by shaping and strengthening the school’s capacity for improvement. p. 3

A reversed mediated effects model in which the school’s results i.e., changes in student learning outcomes drive changes in school improvement capacity and leadership p. 3

A reciprocal effects model in which leadership and school improvement capacity are conceptualised as a mutual influence process that contributes to growth in student learning. p. 3

This report presents the results of analyses of a longitudinal dataset collected from 198 primary schools over a four-year period in the US p. 3

This effort represents, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive empirical tests to explicitly compare these four conceptual models of school leadership effects on learning since they were proposed by Nancy Pitner (1988) more than 20 years ago. p. 3

Direct effects model (leadership as the driver for change in learning) p. 6

Some have termed this a ‘heroic leadership’ model in that it seeks to explain student learning outcomes solely in terms of the principal’s leadership. p. 6

In general, studies employing this type of model did not yield significant results and scholars were subsequently discouraged from pursuing this path (Hallinger and Heck 1996) p. 6

In our analysis of this model, we proposed that change in collaborative leadership might be directly related to change in student achievement, controlling for context factors such as student composition. p. 6

Mediated effects model (leadership as the driver for change in capacity) p. 6

models that conceptualised the relationship between leadership and learning as mediated by school-level organisational structures and processes that we have referred to as ‘school improvement capacity’ (Cheng 1994; Hallinger, Bickman, and Davis 1996; Heck, Larson, and Marcoulides 1990; Leithwood and Jantzi 1999; Marks and Printy 2003; Wiley 2001). p. 6

these studies continued to frame leadership as a driver for school effectiveness and improvement, they proposed indirect rather than direct effects of leadership on learning (see Model 2 in Figure 1). p. 6

This model assumes that changes in leadership and capacity for improvement which take place at the school level produce ‘trickle down’ effects on teacher classroom behaviour and student learning (Hallinger and Heck in press; Leithwood et al. in press; Mulford and Silins 2009). p. 6

note that we did not directly test this assumption in this research. p. 6

Reversed mediated effects model (change in learning outcomes drives changes in capacity and leadership) p. 6

one could also conceptualise change in school results (improvement or decline) as providing the impetus for changes in school capacity and leadership as shown in Model 3 (Heck and Hallinger, in press-a) p. 6

Given our interest in exploring all possible avenues of effects, we included this conceptual model in our own empirical analyses. p. 7

Reciprocal effects model (mutual influence creates paths to improvement in learning) p. 7

A reciprocal effects model implies that the variables (e.g., leadership, school improvement capacity, student learning) mutually influence each other over time (Marsh and Craven 2006). p. 7

This suggests first, as in Model 2, that changes in leadership are likely to influence capacity and growth in learning (indirectly) over time. However, it further proposes that the total or combined effects of collaborative leadership within the school actually increase (or decrease) as a function of changes occurring in improvement capacity and student achievement (see Heck and Hallinger, in press-a) p. 7

we propose that the interaction over time between leadership and capacity building will produce effects on learning beyond the separate effects of either construct observed at any arbitrary point in time. p. 7

This formulation of Model 4 is consistent with Ogawa and Bossert’s (1995) proposition that leadership is an ‘organisational property’ that can increase (or decrease) in both strength and impact over time. p. 7

Research focus and method p. 8

Results p. 9

Finally, our analysis confirmed the existence of an indirect feedback loop between leadership and learning in the context of this reciprocal effects model (Heck and Hallinger in press-a). p. 11

More specifically, change in collaborative leadership was related positively to change in school improvement capacity, and change in school improvement capacity was positively related to student growth in reading and math. p. 11

Our test of Model 4, therefore, supported the proposition that changes in collaborative leadership and school improvement capacity are mutually reinforcing processes p. 11

Discussion p. 11

The analysis of a longitudinal dataset collected over a period of four years in a large number of primary schools enabled us to explore how the relationship between collaborative leadership and learning in schools changed over time. p. 12

The nature of this longitudinal dataset allowed us to employ statistical methods that were capable of shedding light on patterns of change in these complex organisational processes over time p. 12

Conclusions p. 12

Analyses of Model 2 found small but statistically significant indirect effects of leadership on learning. In this model collaborative leadership was a driver for change in school improvement capacity and indirectly impacted growth in student learning (Hallinger and Heck in press; Heck and Hallinger 2009, in press-b). p. 12

Although this mediated effects model produced significant findings, a variety of statistical analyses clearly suggested that the reciprocal effects model (Model 4) provided a more robust and comprehensive explanation of the pattern of change in the relationships over time (Heck and Hallinger in press-a). p. 12

The pattern of findings related to the reciprocal effects model further suggested that changes in collaborative leadership compounded over time through an indirect feedback loop consisting of changes in school improvement capacity and growth in student math achievement (Heck and Hallinger in press-a). p. 12

We also noted that leadership effects on school improvement capacity were smaller over time than corresponding effects of changes in school improvement capacity on changes in collaborative leadership (Heck and Hallinger in press-a). p. 12

Thus, the overall pattern of results favoured a perspective on school improvement leadership as a mutual influence or reciprocal process. p. 12

This is a potentially important finding in that we believe the reciprocal effects model is also the most theoretically compelling of the four models. p. 12

Print/export