For my research, I chose the topic “Effectiveness of Educational Leadership Management Skills in the Success of the Educational Process.” Managerial labor, or management, is a specific type of human activity, a type of mental labor. Although it is not directly involved in the production of material goods, it has a significant impact on the efficiency of the enterprise. The main goal of management is to create the necessary conditions for achieving organizations’ goals (Mazurkiewicz & Fischer, 2021). The product of managerial labor control teams of people and their labor activity, i.e., a managerial decision. When making decisions, the manager, analyzing the internal and external environment, solves many problems, creating non-standard situations. Therefore, the effectiveness of decisions made depends on the manager’s knowledge, qualifications, experience, and common sense, intuition, and personal qualities.
Particular influence on the effectiveness of the manager’s work has leadership – the ability to influence individuals and groups, directing their efforts to achieve the set goal. The task of the leader and the manager is to make decisions and effectively use the group’s resources to achieve the goals set. In addition, the leader must take care of the group members and meet their needs (Bush et al., 2019). A leader, unlike a leader, is not appointed but gains authority and power himself. If the group recognizes him or her as a leader, the group voluntarily gives him or her authority and provides them with the resources to achieve their goals. Educational leadership is a new trend in training. The study of this topic is necessary primarily because the quality of education itself depends on leadership effectiveness (Berkovich & Eyal, 2020). If educational management leadership proves effective, it will revolutionize the field of education. As education is constantly changing, with new learning schemes replacing one another, so must educational management.
My research question is, “Is it effective to use educational leadership management skills to optimize the learning process?” To study this question, I selected articles from respected academic community members based on several criteria. First, all of the researchers took an ethical approach; they kept their subjects’ data confidential. This indicates the professionalism of the researchers and provides credibility to their work (Seijts & MacMillan, 2017). Second, the research must consider important factors such as the number of people in the region, state, or province and their relationship to the number of subjects. The type of data, categorical or continuous, and the further calculation of error probability depend on these indicators (Harling, 2018). The studies I am considering also provide a theoretical basis for the principles of managerial activity of educational leaders. In addition, they determine the main information parameters for making managerial decisions on regulating and adjusting the educational process to improve quality and efficiency.
Literature Review & Arguments
Most scholars agree that leadership in learning management positively impacts the quality of the educational process. The first study on this topic that I would like to review is the 2018 Lui Shengan and Phillip Hallinger (2018) experiment. This study was conducted in China, where workplace teacher education is associated with a solid school-based teacher education practices tradition. The study explored a model of the mediated impact of principal instructional leadership and teacher learning. The model suggests that time management skills and principal self-efficacy are antecedents of instructional leadership.
The researchers used a social survey as a methodology. Survey data were collected from 3,414 teachers and 186 principals from 186 high schools in Qingdao, China (Shengan & Hallinger, 2018). Confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and bootstrapping were used to analyze data from multiple sources. As a result, the study confirmed the partial mediation model. According to it, principal instructional leadership had a direct and indirect effect on professional teacher learning. At the same time, time management and principal self-efficacy had little impact on instructional leadership. This study confirms the positive relationship between principal leadership and teacher professional learning, which positively impacts the quality of education. The study also highlights the importance of applying leadership skills to educational planning.
The educational process, generally understood as the movement of the pupil and the teacher toward the intended result has always and in all countries remained under the control of the state to some degree. At the same time, how the authorities have ensured their influence on the school varies (Seijts & MacMillan, 2017). Note that the issue is not about the structure of educational management, not about the distribution of financial flows, but the establishment of requirements for the organization of the educational process. Since the 1980s, these requirements have been set in all countries, as a rule, through educational standards (Seijts & MacMillan, 2017). The adopted Federal State Educational Standards defined requirements for the results and conditions of their achievement. Combined with the new Law on Education, these documents allowed schools to choose their own educational technologies, methods, and forms of providing education that ensure the achievement of results and tools for their evaluation. Thus, new tasks are set for the school, the complexity and diversity of which have defined new requirements for the qualifications of both the principal and members of his management team.
The article by Michelle Young, Kathleen Winn, and Marcy Reedy (2017) offers an overview of federal policy’s attention to educational leadership. The study also describes the role of school leaders in achieving federal education policy goals (Young et al., 2017). The researchers identified the focus on leadership and provided examples of how states plan to support leadership development. It follows that leadership in educational management plays a vital role in supporting student, teacher, and school-wide outcomes, which justifies its inclusion in federal education policy.
The topic of federal support for leadership programs also comes up in the book Mastering Theories of Educational Leadership and Management by Donnie Adams (2018). There are several interesting studies in the book that are relevant to the question of this paper. The first study was conducted at the University of Malaya and focused on improving student achievement after teachers applied instructional leadership. The methodology used was a survey administered each quarter along with a change in teaching style (Adams, 2018). The application of leadership occurred on several levels. School management used leadership practices in teacher preparation. Teachers, in turn, used mentoring tactics as a learning strategy. As a result of the study, student achievement improved and student feedback on the curriculum improved. This research also speaks to the need for leadership skills in education and the positive impact of these practices on the quality of learning.
The second study in the book concerns teachers’ own attitudes toward the practice of leadership by the school management. After all, when it comes to this kind of practice, change must come from the beginning in leadership. Teachers were asked to divide into two groups, some of which remained under the usual management. In contrast, the others transitioned to a new type of leadership. It turned out that the teachers who were guided using leadership techniques left much more favorable feedback on their work. Thus, educational leadership has a positive impact not only on student achievement but also on teacher satisfaction. This, in turn, improves the quality of education as a whole. After all, the more favorable the working conditions for teachers, the better educational services they will be able to provide (Mazurkiewicz & Fischer, 2021). These two studies confirm the effectiveness of applying leadership skills in educational management. They also confirm that this practice should be instituted in educational institutions on an ongoing basis.
Another study that describes the impact of using leadership techniques in educational management on teachers was conducted by Septi Andriani, Nila Kesumawati, and Muhammad Kristiawan in 2018. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of transformational leadership and work motivation on teacher effectiveness. This study used a quantitative method with a correlational type of study. The study population consisted of 790 SMK Negeri teachers in Palembang. The study sample consisted of 193 teachers (Andriani et al., 2018). The sampling method in this study was cluster (area) sampling. The data collection method was a questionnaire survey. The data were analyzed using correlation and multiple regression analysis methods.
The results revealed several interesting conclusions. First, transformational leadership has a positive and significant impact on teacher performance. Second, work motivation also has a positive and significant impact on teacher performance. Finally, in combination, transformational leadership and work motivation have the greatest positive and significant impact on teacher performance (Kruse & Gray, 2018). This study confirms the need for motivation in leadership management techniques. Thus, it can be concluded that leadership management itself must include important extrinsic and extrinsic factors such as motivational work. Conducting such work with teachers and encouraging their work is beneficial to the quality of the educational process.
As a continuation of leadership management in relation to teachers, another new study conducted by Muhammet Emre Kılıç in 2021 is worth considering. This study aimed to determine the expectations of elementary school teachers from instructor-leaders during the distance learning period. This study was qualitative, and its methodology was based on the case study technique. The participants in this study were 11 teachers who worked in elementary schools during the 2020-2021 school year. The data collection instrument, consisting of 5 questions, was prepared in the form of a semi-structured interview (Kılıç, 2021). This study aimed to identify teachers’ visions regarding implementing a leadership management program in educational institutions.
It was revealed that teachers have a positive attitude towards this kind of innovation. Most of them are confident that leadership management will predominantly positively impact the formation of the educational process. In turn, it will help improve students’ academic performance and increase their motivation to attend classes (Brooks & Normore, 2017). An interesting aspect of this study was also the consideration of leadership management in the context of distance learning in schools. The article concludes that this type of management is the most optimal for distance learning. The reason for this is that such a system provides a quality distribution of tasks among the staff.
Also of interest are studies that summarize the literature on the topic of educational leadership and draw conclusions. The article by Ellen Daniëls, Annie Hondeghem, and Filip Dochy (2019) explicitly reviews the literature on this topic. The researchers justify their work by saying that leadership has received much attention in recent decades because of the increasing responsibility of school principals and the accountability environment in which they work. However, reviews that provide an overview of effective school leadership and influential professional development theories are rare.
Ellen Daniëls, Annie Hondeghem, and Filip Dochy conducted a literature review to summarize the existing literature and identify gaps in research on school leadership in preschool, elementary, and secondary schools. Seventy-five studies on leadership theories, characteristics of effective school leadership, and the professional development of school leaders were included and analyzed (Daniëls et al., 2019). The study provides an overview of significant leadership theories such as instructional leadership, situational leadership, transformational leadership, distributed leadership, and leadership for learning. The article also focuses on the characteristics of effective school leadership. Finally, the review offers features of practical professional development activities for school principals. The researchers conclude that scholars agree on the effectiveness of instructional leadership management. This technique is beneficial for optimizing the learning process as well as improving student achievement.
Previous researchers have argued that there are virtually no groundbreaking articles on this topic, but that is not entirely true. For example, in their paper, Jing Lu, Chad Laux, and Jiju Antony (2017) propose to evaluate the feasibility of effectively using the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) leadership model. This model is proposed to address efficiency and effectiveness issues, such as rising costs, educational quality, graduation, and dropout rates, that higher education institutions face in the modern era. The authors conducted a systematic literature review of the critical concepts of LSS and leadership in higher education institutions to develop a theoretical model using an inductive approach to theory building. The study proposed a conceptual framework for LSS leadership that provides a framework for testing perceptions of LSS leadership in higher education institutions.
The results show that LSS leadership has advantages for higher education institutions in overcoming current problems and challenges. This study is a theoretical study based on existing literature that identifies characteristics that can be adopted in higher education. The proposed LSS leadership framework is based on leadership, statistical thinking, continuous change, and improvement. This model is based on service and the concept of adaptive rather than technical leadership work in higher education. LSS leadership model brings new dimensions and perspectives to leadership in higher education (Lu et al., 2017). The LSS leadership model is practical in providing a fundamental foundation for higher education institutions to overcome challenges, accomplish missions, and sustain improvements. This research helps provide practical guidance on how to apply the leadership model to education. In addition, it also confirms the effectiveness of leadership management in improving the quality of education.
Two studies in the book by Tony Bush, Les Bell, and David Middlewood (2019) will help summarize all the findings of previous articles. The first study dealt with tools for assessing instructional leadership. Unlike general management, where there are plenty of ways to assess the leadership potential, there are few such tools in education (Courtney et al., 2018). The reasons for this are pretty obvious. First, the very need for it appeared recently. Second, the format of applying the tool is usually not simple and requires particular competencies from the one who will conduct the study. Consequently, today the level of competence of principals is usually determined using expert evaluation: survey, observation, interviews, analysis of documents. As a result of the research, a quick and low-cost method of obtaining evaluation data is questionnaires.
The study highlights several advantages of this method. First, it is an impersonal form of communication between researchers and information carriers, ensuring the respondent’s answers from the questioner’s personality. Secondly, it is the pre-thought-out nature of the questions, which ensures that the necessary information is obtained from the respondent and that the procedure is insensitive to the skill level of the questioner (Bush et al., 2019). The third advantage is the possibility to vary both the time and the format of the survey. This survey is critical in the context of the research question of this assessment. As has emerged from all of the previous articles, leadership management effectively improves the quality of education. Therefore, there is a need to analyze leadership assessment methods to implement this system further.
The second study was related to the first and aimed at proving the feasibility of the questionnaire tool. Respondents from initiative educational organizations represent the random sample of research participants. Participating in the survey, the principal and management team members conducted a self-assessment of their contribution to the work with teachers, and students, employees of the educational organization on the above aspects of the activity. The survey was conducted online. According to the survey results, management team profiles were made for each school, which consisted of the indicators of school director and management team members concerning the maximum and minimum values for the total population of test-takers.
In conclusion, the changes occurring in society, the state, the world cover all aspects of life, making great demands on each person, his knowledge, personal qualities, and above all, his professional training. More than ever before, teachers are faced with the urgent task of constantly updating and deepening their knowledge and mastering the latest achievements of science and technology (Rogers-Ard & Knaus, 2020). Moreover, teachers need to be competitive not only in terms of professional skills but also in terms of leadership. The leadership mechanism is fundamental in the field of education, where people are the subject and object of professional activity. In this sphere, the possibilities for increasing the efficiency of functioning and development are limited since the result is not objectified in a specific product or profit but represents certain subjective qualities of the trainees.
It is also essential to take into account the fact that a new context of expectations about the activity of education leaders has now formed. Teachers are required not just to have a high level of individual development, including organizational qualities, but also to actualize the inner potential of their followers and initiate personal self-development. All the studies reviewed in this paper concluded that leadership management in education is beneficial for improving the quality of the educational process. As a complement to the research reviewed in this paper, research on educational leadership can be conducted on a more global level. The nature of leadership in education can be considered in the context of ideas about the essence of education and upbringing, goals and means, the place of the learner and the learner in the educational process.
The teacher’s professional and subjective personal leadership qualities can be used as a basis for determining his leadership potential. In addition, in the area of leadership management in education, in-depth sociological research can be conducted additionally. Sociological analysis of the problem of educational leadership involves the study of the essence and specificity of this phenomenon in the context of broader categories – management, governance, leadership. The category of “educational leadership” is more private and narrower concerning the category of “leadership”. Therefore, it is fair to assume that the theoretical foundations for the study of educational leadership are laid by the rich experience of studying the problems of leadership in the humanities.
Leadership and leader formation as a social and cultural phenomenon receive coverage from different disciplinary positions. Several factors contribute to understanding the structural and functional features of leadership in education. Firstly, it is the socio-psychological view of leadership as a process of interaction in the system “leader – followers”. Secondly, it is a managerial approach to the typology of leadership styles, to the possibilities of formation and development of the leadership block of qualities. Considering these provisions will make it possible to identify the main theoretical and methodological principles of leadership analysis and, in turn, apply them for further sociological analysis of leadership in the sphere of education.
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