The effect of elementary school principals' leadership styles and teacher effectiveness on students' reading proficiency

Teresa Stepniewska, Fordham University


The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between elementary school principals' leadership styles and students' reading scores, and the relationship between the students' reading scores and their teachers' effectiveness in the classroom. Twelve elementary schools were studied, six in urban and six in suburban New York metropolitan area school districts. Twelve teachers, 12 principals, and 278 students, selected according to a purposeful sampling design, were involved in the study. The students were given the 47-item Our Class and Its Work student questionnaire, to assess the effectiveness of teachers' behaviors in the classrooms. The 51-item Profile of a School instrument was administered to teachers in order to assess the principals' leadership style. Reading scores of the urban students came from the Metropolitan Achievement Test, and for the suburban students, they came from the California Achievement Test. The analysis of variance, the Tukey test, and the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient were used to analyze the data gathered from the completed questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were also used in order to summarize the characteristics of teachers and principals. Findings from the study showed that, in urban schools, the principals' leadership style did not influence the students' scores in the reading proficiency tests; in contrast, in the suburban schools, the interaction between the reading ability of the tested students and their principals' leadership styles did indicate that the principals' style influenced the students' scores on reading proficiency achievement tests. Implications of the study and suggestions for further research were also discussed.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|School administration|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Stepniewska, Teresa, "The effect of elementary school principals' leadership styles and teacher effectiveness on students' reading proficiency" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9136339.