Educational leaders play a major role in improving the learning experience for students in their schools and today people associated with education are aware how leadership influences student learning and that how much of a difference effective education leadership makes in improving overall teaching and learning. There’s nothing new or anything controversial about that idea. Different schools have different approaches to school reform; however, they all depend for their success on the motivation, enthusiasm and capacities of those in leadership positions. If we go for an in-depth analysis and study, it has been found that leadership not only matters, but comes next to teaching, among other school-related factors with relation to its impact on student learning.
The impact of education leadership and management tends to be greatest in schools where the learning needs of students are most acutely felt. But do we have a basic understanding of questions like “What effect does successful leadership have on student learning?” “Do successful leaders follow a common set of leadership practices in most situations?” “How do they impact the learning of students?”
Upon reviewing some studies and researches, it shows that successful leadership can play a highly significant – and frequently underestimated – role in improving student learning.
1. Leadership comes second to classroom instruction among all school-related factors contributing to what students learn at school. It has been found that the total (direct & indirect) effects of leadership on student learning account for about a quarter of total school effects. This makes it all the more necessary to improve leadership as a key to the successful implementation of large-scale reform.
2. Leadership effects are typically maximum in areas they are required the most. This reflects when we think of leaders in formal administrative roles, the greater the challenge the greater the impact of their actions on learning. Research shows that demonstrated effects of successful leadership are considerably greater in schools that face many challenges. Now the question may arise in your mind, “what measures do high-quality leaders take to achieve this impact?” This can be achieved by emphasizing 3 important areas. They are by:
1. Setting directions – leaders need to chart a clear course of action that everyone understands, establishing high expectations and using data to track progress and performance.
2. Developing people – leaders also need to provide teachers and others in the system with the necessary support and training to thrive in their jobs
3. Running the institution – A good leader always ensures that the whole range of conditions and incentives in schools must fully support rather than inhibit teaching and learning.
Thus, it has been clearly indicated above that leadership is indeed essential to creating a positive learning environment with every student having access to high-quality education. Teachers and others in higher positions pursuing advanced courses in educational management will be able to support effective teaching and learning strategies, keep pace with transformation across the education industry, throwing away the old & outdated practices and injecting new thinking into schools.