Contrasting effects of instructional leadership practices on student learning in a high accountability context

Moo Sung LEE, Allan David WALKER, Yuk Ling CHUI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of different dimensions of instructional leadership on student learning in Hong Kong secondary schools, whose broader institutional contexts are critically characterized by high accountability policy environments. Design/methodology/approach – This study utilizes standardized test scores collected from (n=2,037) students in 42 secondary schools and data collected from key staff's perceptions of leadership practices, to investigate two dimensions of instructional leadership, which are conceptually interdependent but distinctive – i.e. instructional management and direct supervision of instruction. A cross-level interaction analysis of hierarchical linear modeling was employed to investigate the effects of the two dimensions of instructional leadership on student learning. Findings – Leadership practices focused on instructional management were found to enhance student learning by boosting the positive effect of students’ attachment to their school on academic achievement. In contrast, leadership practices related to direct supervision of instruction were found to undermine student learning by weakening the positive effect of student perceptions of school attachment on academic performance when other school- and student-level characteristics are held constant. Originality/value – The paper reveals the contrasting effects of instructional leadership as a multi-dimensional construct which is central in the current education reform agenda, rooted in accountability-oriented policy of Hong Kong. It draws a number of implications for principal instructional leadership in Hong Kong Schools as they deal with demands for external accountability. Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-611
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Volume50
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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leadership
responsibility
learning
student
Hong Kong
school
supervision
secondary school
instruction
management
academic achievement
staff
reform
methodology
interaction
performance
Values
education

Citation

Lee, M., Walker, A., & Chui, Y. L. (2012). Contrasting effects of instructional leadership practices on student learning in a high accountability context. Journal of Educational Administration, 50(5), 586-611.

Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Secondary schools
  • Leadership
  • Students
  • Academic staff
  • Principal instructional leadership
  • Instructional management
  • Direct supervision of instruction
  • Accountability
  • Student outcomes