Since the publication of the Reagan e a education epo t, A Nation at Risk, the United
States has focused attention on education efo m (United States, 1983). This epo t used
compelling language to desc ibe Ame ica’s schools as la gely inadequate and unable to meet
global demands on education, the eby leaving Ame ica’s futu e in jeopa dy. Since that time
school leade s have emb aced va ious education efo m movements such as No Child Left Behind
and Eve y Student Succeeds Act (No Child Left Behind [NCLB], 2002, Eve y Student Succeeds
Act [ESSA], 2008). Each with thei own measu es of standa dized testing, academic achievement,
and school pe fo mance. Pe haps ove looked is the impo tance of school climate in the ove all
school imp ovement p ocess. Cleveland and Sink (2018) p omote the notion that student
pe spectives on school climate should be included in school imp ovement plans. Othe esea ches
such as Zahid (2014), suggest school climate to be the numbe one conside ation fo student
Dutta & Sahney (2016) esea ched the elationship between school climate and student
achievement and suggested a positive co elation. School p incipals a e the leade s of thei
building, shaping a compelling vision fo the futu e while p omoting safety, academic
achievement, and a positive climate. Depending on the schools' size, the p incipal's job desc iption
may include cu iculum, discipline, community elations, and fiscal esponsibilities. P incipals a e
equi ed to balance the expectations of state, community, and dist ict leade s to p oduce the highest
possible standa dized testing, pe sonnel, and school climate esults. These esponsibilities make
them one of the most influential school imp ovement figu es.
Background and problem statement
Leade ship p actices utilized by p incipals a e vital to the quality of thei job pe fo mance.
The influence of a p incipal extends to the pe ception of all inte nal and exte nal stakeholde s.
With inc easing esea ch to suggest positive school climates could be an influential component of
school imp ovement, p incipals should conside the extent to which inte nal stakeholde s such as
the teaching faculty pe ceive thei influence ove school climate. The extent to which p incipals
can influence school climate in A kansas’ schools is unknown.
Purpose of the study
The pu pose of this quantitative co elational esea ch was to investigate if and to what
extent p incipal leade ship p actices co elate with school climate as pe ceived by teache s in the in
u al and subu ban schools in A kansas. This study investigated the biva iate co elation between
the teache s' pe ception of the school p incipal's leade ship p actices and the co esponding
school's climate sco es. Twenty-fou schools a e included in the sample size f om six geog aphic
egions of A kansas. In all, 626 teache s pa ticipated, answe ing su veys ega ding thei
pe spective of 24 school p incipals and the co esponding school climates in A kansas. The
leade ship p actices of the p incipal and the school climate we e the va iables fo this study.
Significance of the study
The extant esea ch on school climate in cultu e is limited. P incipals seeking to imp ove
thei schools need guidance on how to p omote the best possible envi onment fo positive student
outcomes. P omoting a positive school climate may p ove beneficial to inc easing student
academic achievement. Unde standing the leade ship p actices as pe ceived that p omote a
positive school climate will benefit p incipals seeking to imp ove thei schools. This study will
ecommend leade ship p actices that may p omote a positive school climate fo ove all school
imp ovement in u al and subu ban schools in A kansas.
RQ1: To what extent does the ove all index of p incipal’s leade ship p actices co elate with
school climate as pe ceived by high school teache s in 24 u al and subu ban schools in A kansas?
Limitations of the Study
The scope of this study measu es the climates and leade ship behavio s of 24 schools and
p incipals. Given that school climates can change elatively quickly and a e subject to facto s
beyond the p incipals’ cont ol, the esults of this c oss-sectional study may only be app op iate fo
implementation fo a sho t time afte wa ds.
This study assumes that the inst uments used will accu ately po t ay leade ship behavio s
of school p incipals and p ope ly assess school climates. Responses eceived f om teache s a e
believed to accu ately eflect thei supe vising p incipal and accu ately measu e the co esponding
Principal. The head leade ship position in a school. P incipals manage the day-to-day school
ope ations as well as manage discipline, cu iculum, and community engagement.
School culture. The collective beliefs and no ms of a school.
School climate may be the missing link of past education efo ms. P incipals have the
ability to influence the climate of thei espective schools. Resea ches have suggested a positive
co elation between school climate and student achievement (Dutta & Sahney, 2016). P oviding
school p incipals with best p actices to p omote a positive school climate may aide in ove all
school imp ovement measu es.
Cleveland, R. E., & Sink, C. A. (2018). Student happiness, school climate, and school
imp ovement plans. P ofessional School Counseling, 21(1)
Dutta, V. & Sahney, S. (2016), School leade ship and its impact on student achievement: The
mediating ole of school climate and teache job satisfaction, Inte national Jou nal of
Educational Management, 30(6), 941-958. https://doi.o g/10.1108/IJEM-12-2014-0170
Eve y Student Succeeds Act of 2015, Pub. L. No. 114-95 § 114 Stat. 1177 (2015-2016).
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-110, § 101, Stat. 1425 (2002).
United States. National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at isk : The
impe ative fo educational efo m. Washington, D.C.: The National Commission on
Excellence in Education.
Zahid, G. (2014). Di ect and indi ect impact of pe ceived school climate upon student outcomes.
Asian Social Science, 10(8), 90-102. http://dx.doi.o g/10.5539/ass.v10n8p90
With littl warning in March 2020, T nn ss Gov rnor Bill L ncourag d schools in th
stat to clos for th r maind r of th 2019-2020 school y ar. Although T nn ss r op n d public
schools for th 2020-2021 acad mic y ar, conc rns r main as COVID-19 inf ctions incr as . Th
COVID-19 pand mic has dramatically chang d th way schools can saf ly op rat , and incr as d
th d mands on schools and t ach rs. Th lack of a coh siv f d ral and stat r spons has l ft
individual school districts att mpting to m t th n ds of t ach rs without ad quat r sourc s or
Each y ar T nn ss ducators compl t a T nn ss Educator Surv y (TES) which
id ntifi s priority ar as for r s arch rs, l gislators, and school r form advocat s. On th 2020 TES,
t ach rs indicat d pr -pand mic workloads almost id ntical to pr vious y ars (42% sp nding mor
than 6 hours p r w k), but thos who r spond d aft r th pand mic r port d incr as d workloads
(53% sp nding mor than 6 hours p r w k) (TDOE, 2020). Th 2020 TES clos d at th b ginning
of May 2020 b for th full impact of managing in-p rson, distanc , hybrid, synchronous, and
asynchronous l arning w r r aliz d by T nn ss ducators.
In this p riod of xpand d xp ctations, th Prof ssional L arning Community (PLC) has
b com int gral to th succ ss of classroom ducators b caus this structur mpow rs p opl to
accomplish mor tog th r than what can b don as individuals (DuFour & Eak r, 1998). Th
focus of this r s arch will b to id ntify if t ach r p rsp ctiv s r garding collaboration within th
PLC has chang d b caus of th COVID-19 pand mic.
Statement of the P oblem
As of Nov mb r 2020, th T nn ss Stat L gislatur has not waiv d t ach r and school
accountability m asur s, t ach r valuations, or stud nt standardiz d t sting for th 2020-2021
school y ar. School administrators and t ach rs continu to fac xpanding pr ssur to produc
acad mic r sults r gardl ss of th instabiliti s cr at d by th COVID-19 pand mic. Educators ar
stuck in a p rp tual cycl of accountability and growing d mands which disr gard th chall ng s
facing schools right now. Sinc th T nn ss Stat L gislatur will not r conv n until January of
2021, any l gislativ action r sponding to th pand mic will fall short of b ing d fin d as
“proactiv ” in mitigating t ach r workload or str ss ov r m asur s of accountability. School
l ad rs must tak action to h lp th ir t ach rs r spond to incr as d workload by ncouraging
collaboration within th PLC structur .
Pu pose of the Study
Th purpos of this study was to xamin th impact of th COVID-19 pand mic on
t ach r p rsp ctiv s conc rning collaboration within th PLC. Sinc th f d ral and stat r spons
has b n pitifully lacking in support of t ach rs, it is critical to giv districts and schools actionabl
ways to support th ir staff without adding additional burd n or str ss. Sinc th PLC is common
throughout schools, districts, and stat s, it provid s an xisting structur to m asur and xamin
th rol of collaboration for t ach rs r sponding to th COVID-19 pand mic.
Significance of the Study
In mod rn ducation history, th PLC has a long-standing history of addr ssing chall ng s
facing ducators to improv stud nt outcom s from th No Child L ft B hind (NCLB) and Rac to
th Top ducation r forms. School l ad rs must utiliz th xisting PLC collaborativ structur to
addr ss incr as d t ach r workloads r sulting from th COVID-19 pand mic. T ach r shortag s
and burnout conc rn d r s arch rs b for , and incr as d d mands r lat d to pand mic t aching
will xac rbat th s conc rns.
Resea ch Questions
For th purpos of this r s arch study, th focus will conc rn th following r s arch
1. Has th COVID-19 pand mic chang d t ach r p rsp ctiv s on Prof ssional L arning
Communiti s and collaboration?
2. If so, how can school administrators xpand upon this chang d p rsp ctiv as a
transformational mom nt for incr as d collaboration?
Limitations of the Study
Th COVID-19 pand mic may influ nc participation l v ls in surv ys and int rvi ws.
School cal ndars and mod s of instructional d liv ry continu to b fluid as school districts
att mpt to r spond to th spr ad of COVID-19 within th ir communiti s. Unc rtainty about th
r maind r of th 2020-2021 school y ar cr at s possibl futur limitations d p nding on th
progr ssion of th pand mic in closing schools or transitioning stud nts to a hybrid or onlin
structur . T ach rs who ar ov rwork d or str ss d may not prioritiz surv y or int rvi w
participation in r lation to oth r work duti s.
Within th r s arch, participants will tak a surv y asking t ach rs to answ r th sam s t
of qu stions bas d on pr -COVID-19 r coll ction (2019-2020 school y ar b for March 2020
school closur ) and during COVID-19 xp ri nc s (post-March 2020 school closur and 2020-
2021 school y ar). Th r s arch r assum s t ach rs will b abl to r m mb r accurat ly to b for
COVID-19 and will not allow hindsight bias to cloud thos r coll ctions.
Th r s arch r also assum s t ach rs will b hon st and forthcoming conc rning th ir
p rc ptions without allowing ducational “group-think” and “toxic positivity” cultur to influ nc
or sil nc th ir voic . By cr ating a surv y outsid district r sourc s and conducting individual
int rvi ws, th r s arch r has att mpt d to limit l gitimat t ach r f ars conc rning district or
school r taliation.
Th following d finitions ar provid d to xplain words and phras s commonly us d
throughout th study:
● COVID-19 pand mic: an ongoing global h alth m rg ncy, as d fin d by th World
H alth Organization, caus d by s v r acut r spiratory syndrom coronavirus 2 (SARS-
CoV-2) (Yu n,Y , Fung, Chan, & Jin, 2020)
● Prof ssional L arning Community (PLC): ducators working collaborativ ly in ongoing
proc ss s of coll ctiv inquiry to improv stud nt achi v m nt (DuFour, DuFour, & Eak r,
● Collaboration: proc ss in which p opl work tog th r, int rd p nd ntly, to improv r sults
This chapt r provid d an introduction to th r s arch study, common d finitions, and th
pr ssing natur of xamining th impact of th COVID-19 pand mic on t ach r p rc ption of
PLCs and collaboration. Inst ad of focusing on th n gativ impacts of th pand mic, th
r s arch r hop s th COVID-19 pand mic will facilitat transformational chang in t ach rs'
approach to collaboration. Chapt r 2’s will pr s nt a r vi w of th lit ratur stablishing th
importanc of th PLC as an ducational r form ffort and th rol of collaboration within that
DuFour, R., & Eak r, R. (1998). Prof ssional l arning communiti s at work: B st practic s for
nhancing stud nt achi v m nt. Association for Sup rvision and Curriculum D v lopm nt.
DuFour, R. (2004). What is a "prof ssional l arning community?" Educational L ad rship,
DuFour, R., DuFour, R. B., & Eak r, R. E. (2008). R visiting prof ssional l arning communiti s at
work: N w insights for improving schools. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tr .
T nn ss D partm nt of Education (TDOE). (2020). T nn ss ducator surv y 2020 ov rvi w:
A r port from th T nn ss D partm nt of Education.
https://www.tn.gov/cont nt/dam/tn/ ducation/data/2020-surv y/Combin d_Bri fs.pdf
Yu n, K.S., Y , Z.W., Fung, S.Y., Chan, C.P., & Jin, D.Y. (2020). SARS-CoV-2 and
COVID-19: Th most important r s arch qu stions. Cell Bi sci. 10:40. R tri v d
S pt mb r 19, 2020. doi:10.1186/s13578-020-00404-4
Ameri an s hools began during the early olonial period. Tea hers at that time required no
training to tea h. By the mid-1800s, s hools began to evolve, and formal training for tea hers
started. Formal training soon be ame a ollege edu ation and then morphed into a ertifi ation
pro ess. Today, thousands of individuals earn their ertifi ation to tea h in publi s hools. Though
this ertifi ation varies from state to state, all of them require a preparation program. Although
these programs must meet high standards and expe tations, individuals who omplete the
programs still begin their areers as novi e tea hers (Carr, 2013).
To assist these novi e tea hers in developing their skills, s hools implement a multitude of
professional learning models. Those models in lude professional learning seminars and mentoring.
In re ent years, s hools and s hool systems have moved to ombine these two methods by
employing instru tional oa hes to support all tea hers' growth and development. It is not yet
known whether instru tional oa hes have a signifi ant impa t on new tea hers.
ackground and Problem Statement
In the early 2000s, s hools and s hool systems began employing instru tional oa hes
(Fierle, 2020). The oa hes work losely with tea hers to monitor their instru tional pra ti es,
re ord tea her pra ti es, and provide onstru tive feedba k (Reeves, 2010). This support model
fo uses on job-embedded professional learning while walking edu ators down the path of
development and growth. As this role be omes more prominent in s hools, exploring its impa t on
first-year tea hers is needed.
Purpose of Study
The study aims to determine the impa t of instru tional oa hes/tea her leaders on the
growth and development of first-year tea hers. The study also sought to determine the differen e in
the growth of tea hers who re eived instru tional oa hing ompared to a group of tea hers who
do not re eive instru tional oa hing. The study also sought to identify tea her per eptions of the
impa t of their work with an instru tional oa h.
Significance of Study
High levels of student a hievement are the ore work for all s hools. To improve student
a hievement, s hools must in rease the apa ity of its tea hers. Continual professional growth is
imperative for all s hools and tea hers. Professional development for first-year tea hers is
espe ially important. S hools and s hool systems must employ a highly effe tive method for
supporting these new to the profession tea hers' growth. This study sought to determine if
instru tional oa hes/tea her leaders impa t first-year tea her growth ompared to other methods.
Be ause s hools have limited resour es, it is imperative to determine the most impa tful and
effe tive system for growth and development to help tea hers learn and grow.
1. How do Instru tional Coa hes/Tea her Leaders impa t the performan e of first-year
2. How do tea hers who re eive instru tional oa h support per eive
Limitations of the Study
Parti ipants in this study were volunteers. The resear her relied on the tea hers' and
prin ipals' honesty and willingness to parti ipate through interviews, pre-assessments, and post-
assessments. As prin ipals and tea hers provided assessment data, it was important that s oring be
honest and genuinely refle t their beliefs on performan e.
Additionally, the resear her did not observe or assess the quality of the instru tional oa h
support provided to the first-year tea her. A varian e in the amount and quality of the help
supplied to the first-year tea hers may be evident. Additionally, there may be a varian e in the
amount and type of support provided to the tea hers who did not re eive instru tional oa h
In this study, it was assumed that prin ipal and tea her responses in the assessments and
interviews were honest and refle ted the per eived performan e on the given indi ators.
Additionally, it was assumed that first-year tea her supports were typi al for both groups (those
who did not re eive instru tional oa h/tea her leader support and those who did re eive support).
The study attempted to determine the impa t on first-year tea hers ompared to typi al supports
for first-year tea hers.
● First-Year Tea her: Tea her who is entering into their first year as a tea her
● Instru tional Coa h: Someone whose hief responsibility is to support the growth and
development of tea hers.
Tea hers are the most signifi ant indi ator of student a hievement (Hanushek &
Woessmann, 2010). Developing tea hers, therefore, is a atalyst for improving student
a hievement. As tea hers enter the profession, the need for support and professional growth is
riti al. Many s hools have moved to employ instru tional oa hes as a method of support for
tea hers. This study sought to find whether that support (instru tional oa hes) has an impa t on
first-year tea hers.
Carr, D. (2013). The Effe ts of Tea her Preparation Programs on Novi e Tea hers
Regarding Classroom Management, A ademi Preparation, Time Management, and
Self-Effi a y (November 2013) [Do toral Dissertation]. Liberty University.
Fierle, D. E. (2020). Instru tional Coa hing for Tea her Growth: A Phenomenologi al Study
of Instru tional Coa hing as a Capa ity-building Lever for Strengthening Tea her
Pra ti e in Publi Middle S hools (28025640) [Do toral dissertation, Point Park
Reeves, D. B. (2010). Transforming professional development into student results (1st ed.).
1 Coaching-Based Approach to Leadership
The emergence, global adoption, and ever-accelerating development of internet-based
technologies have facilitated a level of interconnectedness in global markets that many people
would have never imagined as little as thirty years ago. The internet has provided an easeof
access to information that is merging businesses markets, and cultures as well. With the ever-
accelerating rate of development in technology, combined with increasingly dynamic markets
responding to social and cultural influences, business leaders are facing unprecedented challenges
to create organizational cultures that are nimble and responsive to thesemarket forces. To this
end, organizations are reconsidering traditional forms of training and have made considerable
investments in executive coaching initiatives.
“Concerns arise when organizational forms of training, such as
traditional methods of training become obsolete and less effective at
equipping executives to respond rapidly to change. This concern is
especially important because executives have less time than before
in history to prove themselves in a fast-paced, global, and
environmentally challenging world” (Lord, 2010, p. 4).
As a result, organizations havebeen exploring new approaches to leadership including, a coaching-
based approach to leadership. A review of the literature on the influence and effectiveness of a
coaching-based reflects a rich discussion of important considerations. These research
considerations include: Exploring thedelayed effects of learning associated with a coaching-based
approach to leadership (Spence, et al., 2019), How coaching-based leadership is implemented in
effective project management practices (Berg, M., Karlsen, J. 2019), The perceived benefits of
implementing a coaching-based style of leadership (Elidas, A., 2016), comparative research that
evaluates the effectiveness of executive coaching as assessed to traditional forms of training, as
well as research into the efficacy of coaching itself (Grant, 2013). Yet there exists is a gap in the
research literature concerning the effectiveness of a coaching-based approach to leadership in the
2 Coaching-Based Approach to Leadership
professional development of senior managers regarding their job satisfaction in addition to
succession planning and organizational performance during periods of transitions in leadership.
Background and problem statement
It is important to note that traditional forms of training are more generic, standardized, and
less specific whereas, executive coaching is personally tailored to the particular needs of the
executive. However, although there is a great deal of discussion, analysis, and investment into
coaching initiatives to improve skills and decision-making capabilities of executives, since the
beginning of the 21st Century alone there havebeen several widely reported scandals that brought
down executives for criminal ethical violations. The collapse of Enron, Arthur Andersen, and
WorldCom highlight this point. The trend of CEO departures, some controversial and others not,
has continued. “Chief executives are leaving in record numbers this year, with more than 1,332
stepping aside in theperiod fromJanuary through the end of October” (Atkinson, 2019, p.1). This
point is reiterated by MikeDavies, Director of Global Corporate Affairs for
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), as hewrites “CEO turnover is at a record high and the successors
of following long-serving CEO’s are struggling” (2018, p. 1). Several factors are influencing this
wave of resignations that include age, early retirement, and controversy to name but a few.
This situation represents a problemfor leaders and organizations: Establishing an
organizational culture that is focused on achie
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