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Drivers of Student Learning: Leadership Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

Leadership involves reciprocal and meaningful learning within a community (Lambert, 2003). School leaders influence all individuals within a school community, especially students and teachers (Karadağ, Bektaş, Çoğaltay, & Yalçın, 2015). While the relationship between principals, teachers, and students is complex, research has shown that school leadership can positively impact student outcomes (Hallinger & Heck, 1996).

The Learning Bar’s Teacher Survey is a self-evaluation tool for teachers that is based on ‘effective schools’ research, consisting of eight of the most important variables associated with the drivers of student learning, and coupled with the Outward Bound model of teaching and learning covered in John Hattie’s book, Visible Learning (Hattie, 2009).

Why is it important?  

  • Principal leadership can indirectly influence student achievement through school policies and norms, such as instructional organisation and learning time (Hallinger & Heck, 1996).  
  • Positive teacher perceptions of a principal’s leadership style facilitate improvements in classroom instruction and school climate (Rhodes, Camic, Milburn, & Lowe, 2009).
  • Effective principals listen and make both formal and informal suggestions to teachers that are based on their experiences (Blase & Blase, 2000).  
  • Principal-teacher conversations about instruction are most effective when reflection and professional growth are promoted (Blase & Blase, 2000). How do we measure it? In Tell Them From Me, teachers respond to eight items on a five-point scale which is scored as follows: 0 (Strongly Disagree), 1 (Disagree), 2 (Neither Agree nor Disagree), 3 (Agree), and 4 (Strongly Agree). The data are scaled on a 10-point scale and the results are reported as ‘the average score for leadership’.



Blase, J., & Blase, J. (2000). Effective instructional leadership: Teachers' perspectives on how principals promote teaching and learning in schools. Journal of Educational Administration, 38(2), 130-141.

Hallinger, P., & Heck, R. H. (1996). Reassessing the principal's role in school effectiveness: A review of empirical research, 1980-1995. Educational Administration Quarterly, 32(1), 5-44.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge.

Karadağ, E., Bektaş, F., Çoğaltay, N., & Yalçın, M. (2015). The effect of educational leadership on students’ achievement: A meta-analysis study. Asia Pacific Education Review, 16(1), 79-93.

Lambert, L. (2003). Leadership redefined: An evocative context for teacher leadership. School Leadership & Management, 23(4), 421-430.

Rhodes, J. E., Camic, P. M., Milburn, M., & Lowe, S. R. (2009). Improving middle school climate through teacher‐centered change. Journal of Community Psychology, 37(6), 711-724.