December is fast-approaching and with it brings the first UK conference on Instructional Leadership.
But with the majority of leaders claiming to adopt a transformational leadership approach, we explore with Professor John Hattie what the difference is between the two and the difference it could make:
Transformational Leadership vs Instructional Leadership
“In 2008, my colleagues Viviane Robinson, Claire Lloyd, and Ken Rowe conducted a meta-analysis that compared two types of school leaders: Transformational Leaders and Instructional Leaders.
“They found that Transformational Leaders focus more on teachers. They set a vision, inspiring goals for the school, energise staff, protect teachers from external demands and give them high levels of autonomy in the classroom.
“By contrast, the focus for Instructional Leaders is not the teachers but the students. They factor in much more on the teachers’ and school’s impact on student learning and instructional issues. Instructional Leaders spend much more of their time conducting classroom observations, building the collective professional trust to enable teachers to conduct peer observations, ensuring that teachers receive professional development opportunities that enhance student learning, and that all aspects of the school environment are conducive to learning.
“Pause for a moment and ask yourself which style of leadership best describes your personal approach. If you identify mostly with the transformational leadership approach you are with the majority. According to various self-perception surveys – more than 80% of school leaders claim to adopt the transformational approach (Marks, W. (2013), unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wollongong, New South Wales).
“It’s arguable that the push for a transformational approach to school and college leadership has come partly from our collective fascination with the leadership styles of many rags to riches business tycoons and also from policymakers who increasing look to ‘transform’ schools and colleges. I would argue that this has contributed to a corporatised approach to school and college leadership.
“This is fine if it works. But what my colleagues discovered was that the average effect size from transformational leadership was .11, whereas the impact of instructional leadership was .42. This is like the difference in punching power between Mr Bean and Chris Eubank Jr.”
Join a panel of high-calibre leadership experts including Steve Munby, Dr David Frost and Professor John MacBeath OBE and explore how adapting your leadership style can have four times the impact.
For colleagues across Scotland, join us on 16th March 2018 for the Scottish Instructional Leadership Conference featuring Dr Peter DeWitt, Professor John MacBeath OBE and Sarah Philp. Read more.