Transformational Leadership A Useful Tool for Teachers in Identifying and Influencing the Performance of Students Student`s

TransformationalLeadership: A Useful Tool for Teachers in Identifying and Influencingthe Performance of Students:

Transformational leadership has become one of the leadership stylesthat is used by organizations in enhancing outcome. Transformationalleadership describes a leadership approach, which leads to change insocial systems and individuals. In its ideal form, transformationalleadership generates positive and valuable change in the followerswith an end objective of developing followers into leaders (Elmore,2001). Transformational leadership is critical since it enhances themorale, motivation, and performance of followers through differentmechanisms. Such mechanisms entail linking the followers’ sense ofidentity and self with the mission and collective identity of theentity challenging followers to consider greater ownership in theirwork being a role model to followers, which offer inspiration, andunderstanding the weaknesses and strengths of followers so as toalign followers with different tasks, which enhance theirperformance. In this paper, the literature concerningtransformational leadership as a useful tool for teachers inidentifying and influencing the performance of students will bediscussed. Besides, the second part of this paper will provide anexperimental report on transformational leadership in influencing theperformance of students.

Literature Review

A fundamental principle of transformational leadership is the callfor members in sharing a vision and value collective ambitions alongthe journey of change. In an organization, where transformationalleadership exists, the leader is placed in the center of thecommunity, instead of taking the position of a leader from the top.Transformational leadership demonstrates respect for all individuals,power of followers, and value of the leader’s support forcollective goals. According to Newmann and Wehlage (1995), sharedleadership and decision making usually play a significant role insupporting student learning. This shared leadership and decisionmaking can be achieved through transformational leadership. This kindof leadership thus helps in influencing the performance of studentsbecause shared decision making is critical since it serves anextension of tutors’ active participation in organizations(Newmann&ampWehlage, 1995). According to Leitherwood et al. (1999),effective leaders usually inspire followers in achieving collectiveor personal mastery of the capacities needed in accomplishingcollective aspirations. Followers need to believe themselves ashaving the ability of accomplishing the ambitions targeted by theschool community. It is these capacity beliefs that equip the staffwith the focus and resiliency and necessary to attain change(Leitherwood et al, 1999). A transformational leader can facilitatean increase in capacity beliefs through ensuring explicit experiencefrom role models, actual performance and individual’s opinions ofsuccess, and verbal persuasion. This is an indication that this typeof leadership influences the performance of followers. Atransformational leader in a school has a valuable role of helpingtutors uncover the meaning in whatever they do and promoting thecapacity of changing practices through transcending them. Leader of agroup is directly involved in influencing what the group will learn.Therefore, when a leader promotes a supportive culture of change, asindicated in transformational leadership, the probability ofindividuals putting their new knowledge into an effective action,increases (Leitherwood et al, 1999).

According to Bass &ampAvolio (1994), transformational leadershipimproves an organization through raising the values of its members,encouraging them to go past self-interest to embrace organizationalambitions, and redefining their necessities so as to align withorganizational preferences. Transformational leadership is likely toinfluence teacher’s professional commitment studies conducted Kohet al. (1995) indicate that transformational leadership accounts forapproximately 17-18% of the variance in organizational commitment.Besides, transformational leadership contributes to organizationalcitizenship, which is the individual’s willingness to proceedbeyond the formal requirements of the job so as to engage inproductive roles that promote organizational effectiveness (Koh etal, 1995). Therefore, since transformational leadership makesindividuals to go beyond their formal job requirements,transformational leadership in a school has the impact of enhancingthe commitment of teachers and making them do their work beyond theirjob requirement. This has the impact of influencing the performanceof students. Teachers that are more committed to the values of anorganization and to the members of the organization are more likelyto assume instructional practices that are recommended by theorganization, help colleagues, and work harder so as to attainorganizational goals (Bass &ampAvolio, 1994). Such commitments arelikely to contribute to higher student performance in case theambitions of the school are focused towards student performance.

Leithwood (1992) argues that transformational leaders in a schoolsetting attempt to pursue three principal goals. These three goalsentail helping staff members in developing and maintaining aprofessional, collaborative school environment helping tutors solveproblems in a more efficient manner and promoting teacherdevelopment. All these three goals influence the performance ofstudents as it will be indicated in the paragraph that follows.

Helping staff members in developing and maintaining a professional,collaborative school environment is critical since in such anenvironment, members of staff can talk, critique, observe, and plantogether (Leithwood, 1992). Continuous improvement and collectiveresponsibility norms encourage staff members to teach one anotherthis makes them learn and know how to teach better. As teachers learnto teach better, they influence the performance of students sincethey tend to help students realize performance goals. Fostering ofteacher development is also critical since it helps in attainingprofessional growth as teachers attain professional development,they are capable of solving school improvement problems. As theseproblems are solved, the performance of students becomes enhanced. Onthe other hand, helping tutors solve problems in an effective manneris also critical in helping schools achieve meaningful improvement(Leithwood, 1992). Therefore, transformational leadership has aninfluence on the performance of students.

The transformational leadership framework as proposed by Bass &ampAvolio(1997) argues that transformational leadership can be identifiedthrough certain behaviors such as idealized influence, idealizedinfluence, inspirational motivation, and intellectual stimulation.These are expanded in order to integrate some vital managementdimensions such as instructional support, staffing, monitoring ofschool activities, and community focus (Leithwood, 1992). Thesebehaviors are exceedingly important in ensuring that the goals of aschool as an organization are accomplished. As the goals of theschool are accomplished, student performance is influenced sinceschool and student performance emerge as an important goal thatschools look forward to achieving.

According to Leithwood et al. (2001), transformational leadership iscritical in influencing the performance of students and school as awhole. This is because transformational, has the capacity ofencouraging teachers to identify with the goals of schools. Almostevery school will have a goal of enhancing its performance throughthe use of its staffs and students. The moment teachers becomemotivated to identify with the goals of a school, it goes withoutsaying that they would be encouraged to improve the performance ofthe school by ensuring that they provide better learning to students,a move that can influence the performance of students.

Besides, transformational leadership provides a suitable environmentfor learners and teachers (Leithwood et al, 2001). Through thetransformational leadership, teachers are capable of discussingproblems that emerge in the learning environment and offer solutionto the problems through relating with the different stakeholders oflearning. This works well with the students, making them attain highsuccesses in learning.

Research conducted by Barnett and McCormick indicates that the impactof leadership on student learning outcomes is usually mediatedthrough school conditions, organizational culture, and classroomconditions. Transformational leadership ensures that these factorsare in the best possible condition, which translates to enhancedperformance. According to Barnett &amp McCormick (2004), resistanceto change is one of the principal factors that can lead toorganizations not accomplishing their goals however, sincetransformational leadership encourages changes rather than being aresistance to change, organizations that adapt the transformationalleadership have high probabilities of performing exceedingly well.Since in its ideal form, transformational leadership generatespositive and valuable change in the followers with an end objectiveof developing followers into leaders, schools that havetransformational leadership ensure that significant changes thataffect the performance of students are affected, which translates tohigh performance amid the students because students have an immensedesire of following the course of the leader (Barnett &ampMcCormick, 2004). Resistance to culture has also been pointed as amajor problem affecting the performance of organizations andstudents however, when this resistance becomes eliminated, there isa tendency of organizations performing remarkably well. Sincetransformational leadership ensures that there is a well developedschool culture, then the performance of school and students isinfluenced by the developmental school culture.

Also, according to Barnett &amp McCormick (2004), transformationalleadership influences the performance of students since it providesstudents with an opportunity to copy their role models.Transformational leadership has been indicated to present leaders asrole models a move that inspires the followers. In a schoolenvironment, transformational leadership presents teachers as rolemodels (Barnett &amp McCormick, 2004). This has the effect ofinfluencing the performance of students because students becomeinspired to learn and achieve high performances in the set targets.On the other hand, transformational leadership in a school ensuresthat there is a shared vision amid all the stakeholders of theschool. Since there is sharing of a vision by all the stakeholders,it implies that students are also likely to identify with the visionof the school. This is an indication that in case the school has avision of enhancing its performance academically, students will alsohave the same vision. This will thus influence the performance ofstudents.

In addition, as noted by Elmore (2001), transformational leadershippractices like having collaborative decision making has the impact ofinfluencing the students’ performance because it brings aboutcommitments in improving student learning. As a result oftransformational leadership practices, teachers are more than willingto engage in improving the learning process amid students. As thelearning process becomes enhanced through the collaboration ofteachers and the schools, student performance is enhanced (Elmore,2001). Hence, transformational leadership is a useful tool forteachers in identifying and influencing the performance of students.

As aforementioned in the introduction part of this research, apartfrom the literature review of transformational leadership, the paperwas to discuss as well the experimental report on transformationalleadership in influencing the performance of students. Approximatelyfive decades ago, a lot of people would have anticipated seeing thenew millennium with so much difference. Most people thought that theyear 2000 would have come with a whole lot of advancement intechnology as well as, for instance, beating the incurable diseases.The new millennium is here and there isn’t as much difference as itwas before. To start with, there is just but a few changes in ourlearning institutions. Nothing much has changed. Teachers andstudents are almost at the same level as fifty years ago, if notprecisely the same level. Teachers still mark students’assignments, prepare notes while the students jot down those notes.Students raise their hands either to ask or answer a question. Everyafter a while, there is a new curriculum that is given to teachers tofollow. Nothing much has really changed [CITATION Jim11 l 1033 ]. According to Marsh, the form of leadership that traditionally existsin learning institutions is commonly referred to as ‘Command orDominance leadership’ [ CITATION Myr98 l 1033 ]. Teachers arefacing a number of threats in the way in which they are meant toexecute their mandate of leadership. The ever changing and increasinginformation and communication technology is one of the threats thatteachers are facing in implementing their mandate of leadership [ CITATION Myr98 l 1033 ].Computers and electronic gadgets have found their way to classroomshence technology exploding as an educational issue. This has becomean issue in the sense that teachers have to learn ways on how to useas well as become familiar with modern technological devices such ascomputers for them to teach their students [ CITATION Jim11 l 1033 ].To solve this, transformational leadership is put in place toinfluence students to perform better in class work and elevate theirgrades by encouraging teachers to be role-models in how to use thecomputers effectively and not in a negative way that will tamper withthe performance and general well-being of students. Teachers have tolearn new ways of modern Information technology so as to lead theirstudents and for students to emulate their teachers. This helps inharmonizing the learning environment in schools between teachers andleaners [ CITATION Jim11 l 1033 ]. Advancement in information andtechnology has fostered teacher development. It is not what equipment(such as computers) is used in the classroom. Rather, it is howtheseequipment such as computers are used that makes the difference.Students’ can learn this from their teachers by the way theirteachers use these devices in a better and reproductive way.Teachers’ motivation for development is enhanced throughtransformational leadership thus influencing the general performanceof students.

According to Leithwood, transformational leadership can not only be asource of influence to business firms but learning institutions aswell. The stakeholder theory of a business firm is made up of anumber of areas of entities. These are employees, employers, clients,producers, managers and many others. All these constituencies have alegitimate strategic as well as a moral stake in the business firm.However, they may have dissimilar values, philosophies, ethics,morals and so forth. For this reason, for the benefit of everystakeholder in the organization, each and every person concerned hasto put aside their personal interest and unite together on thefoundation of values, interests as well as social choices.Transformational leadership is a key concept that can helporganizations attain the success they need by making sure that allstakeholders have the same ethics as well as values that will bondthem together in the aim of making the entire organization prosper[ CITATION Bas98 l 1033 ].Transformational leadership can as well be extended to learninginstitutions. Teachers in schools can emulate this form of leadershipto influence the performance of their students [ CITATION Bas98 l 1033 ].

In schools, transformational leadership has a way of dealing withsearching for a route to become successful in cooperatively knowingthe indispensable drive of teaching as well as leaning there ofemboldening the whole school community to become not only motivatedbut dedicated as well [ CITATION Jim11 l 1033 ]. This has a greatinfluence on the overall performance of students in attaining successin their learning endeavors. In this way, transformational leadershiphas a great influence on the student’s performance for the entireschool community collaboratively works together for the aim ofboosting students’ performance.

As stated by Bernard Bass and Steiddlmeier, transformationalleadership works in four components. These components are idealizedinspiration or attractiveness, inspirational motivation, intellectualstimulation and finally personalized consideration (Bass andSteidlmeier, 1998). If the leadership of any organization, includinglearning institutions is transformational, its attractiveness iswhence forth envisaging, assertive as well as setting high principlesfor mimicry or emulation. Its inspirational motivation providesadherents with experiments and meaning for involving in sharedobjectives as well as activities. Transformational leadership’sintellectual stimulation assists followers (in this case, students)to question norms and thereof come up with more solutions that arebased on creativity to problems (Bass and Steidmeier, 1998). Allthese put together, helps the school community to work towards anobjective of elevating the school as an organization, hence helpingin identifying as well as influencing student’s performance. Inaddition, transformational leadership, according to Bernard Bass andSteidmeier helps teachers to provide not only mentorship and growthopportunities to students, but coaching as well. This in turnmotivates the students to perform better in their school work.

Transformational leadership has, in a sense, developed a new role forteachers, which is slightly different from the ancient role of ateacher [ CITATION Edw93 l 1033 ]. According to Edward Fullan,teachers today will not spend more time in the classroom teaching,rather they will have more time to interrelate with other teachers,more time to prepare for and evaluate learning and sharing a commonwork room inside the school environment [ CITATION Edw93 l 1033 ].Teachers have developed a way of searching for more and new conceptsinside as well as outside their own setting. This means that teachersmust be role models for students in being incessant learners all theway through their career. This has become a very useful tool forteachers in identifying as well as influencing their students’performance. Furthermore, it has elevated the spirit of students inwanting to be better performers not only in classwork, but otherundertakings as well through emulating their teachers. According toGoodland, the new role of leadership will also require teachers totake leadership into their own hands. The current society is lookingforward to more enthusiastic and charismatic performers andeducation, through leadership, is one of the key sectors in shapingthe minds of students in becoming better performers (Goodland,1994). Hence, transformational leadership is a useful tool forteachers in identifying and influencing the performance of students.

Methodology/Research Design

A qualitative design will be used to examine the situation ofleadership in the context of different school improvement plans.Although the plans in the target districts usually vary in theirfocus, they are expected to be structured in similar ways andconceived by the staffs of the schools in a similar manner. In thiscontext, structured qualitative techniques allowed a thoroughexploration of the kinds of leadership practices influencing schoolimprovement. Interviewing will be selected as the technique of datacollection so as to enable a rich source of insight concerning theway in which leaders approach school improvement. Although interviewmethod will be more time intensive, the individualized nature of thestructured interview will be aimed at the existence oftransformational leadership practices in a manner that a survey orquestionnaire could not. According to Best &amp Kahn (2003),interview method tends to yield more detailed information compared toquestionnaires. Besides, certain types of confidential informationcan be obtained through interviews that a person may be unwilling toput into writing (Best &amp Kahn, 2003). Open ended questions tendto be effective in discovering the respondents’ frame of referenceand priorities. They also help in revealing the depth of anindividual’s knowledge. During the interviews, audio recording wasdone in order to facilitate the analysis of the information afterdata collection was over.

A total of 9 questions we developed for the purpose of collectingdata during the interviews. The questions are intended to uncoverunderstandings and attitudes concerning the themes of teacherleadership, shared vision, collaborative decision making, highperformance expectations, school culture, and building capacity.These questions related to the different aspects of leadershipdepicted in schools. During the conduction of the interviews, everygroup who participates in the districts are the participants who knewthem well. This was critical, so as to make participants more willingto volunteer information. Groups were able to commence with a clearexplanation of the purpose of the study and the context for thequestions. The questions that were designed for the interview areunbiased and are not implied to have a particular response. Besides,during interviews, neutral prompts will also be used in order to gainmore specific responses when required.

Data Analysis

After, the information will be collected through the differentinterview questions and recorded, it will later be analyzed in orderto determine the role of transformational leadership for teachers inidentifying and influencing the performance of students. Theperceptions of teachers concerning the strategies that positivelyimpacted improvement outcomes will also be analyzed for trends andcommonalities. Coding categories will be determined and differentcomments by the teachers evaluated based on how explicitly everytheme addressed.

Processfor examining the data or information

After the collection of information and data, the informationcollected will be examined to determine the structure, relationship,content, and derivation rules that are related to the information.The results obtained from data analysis will help in determining thesuitability of individual candidate source systems and provide abasis for making a decision on whether the responses from thecandidate are suitable. Examination of data helps a researcher tohave a good understanding of anomalies and to assess the quality ofthe data collected.

Data will be examined by use of central tendency, that is, mean, modeand median. During data examination, additional metadata informationwill be obtained and could be length, data type, uniqueness, abstracttype recognition, discrete values, typical string values, and nullvalues occurrence. The metadata will then be used to identifyproblems such as misspelling, illegal values, duplicates, and varyingvalue representation. Data examination will be done for all thestructural levels, meaning that single columns will be examinedindividually in order to know the frequency distribution of valuesand use of the columns. Examining of data in determining the role oftransformational leadership for teachers in identifying andinfluencing the performance of students, improves the quality of datacollected, shortens the implementation cycle of transformationleadership, and improves data understanding for the users.

Qualitativeapproach and a research question

This research involves a qualitative approach and research questions.The qualitative approach is an important tool for answering questionsin this research and helps in understanding phenomenon that we do nothave a good model about at present. It will help in getting anin-depth understanding of the behavior of teachers and studentsconcerning transformational leadership. The approach investigates thehow, why, what, and when of decision-making. Qualitative approachorganizes questions and data collected into patterns so that itbecomes the primary basis for reporting results. The qualitativeresearch method to be used in this research is in-depth interviewsand this will be achieved by the use of structured questionnaires.In-depth interview provides the researcher with an opportunity toidentify a person’s perspective and experiences in relation to thetopic of concern.

Open-ended questions will be used in this research because it givesparticipants the freedom to respond to the questions in their ownwords. In addition, open-ended questions evoke responses that areanticipated by a researcher, rich and explanatory in nature, andmeaningful to the participant. In this approach, the researcher willcarefully listen to what each participant says and is expected toengage with them in order to encourage them to elaborate on theiranswers.


The problem to be addressed is influencing the performance ofstudents through transformational leadership and the question to beaddressed is does transformational leadership influence theperformance of students? A research design will ensure that with thehelp of the data obtained, you are able to address the problem of theresearch more effectively. A research design will provide an outlineof how the problem and the questions will be addressed[ CITATION Bri07 l 1033 ].

In relation to this research, I will check first with the authoritiesif they have implemented transformational leadership in their schooland what procedures were used to implement it. I will obtain anunderstanding from the authorities of how the teachers reacted tothis transformation leadership, that is, whether they accepted orresisted. If they accepted the system, I will ask them iftransformational leadership has helped them to improve theperformance of their students. I will then compare the performance ofthe students in the school before and after implementation oftransformational leadership. After comparing the performance, I willask the students about transformational leadership and how it hashelped them to improve in their studies. I will interview theauthorities to find out if there were additional costs incurred byinstitution while implementing transformational leadership and whatthey have done to recover or reduce these costs. Finally, I willinterview a few parents to understand if they have noticed anychanges in performance in their children since the introduction oftransformational leadership.

Relevanceof the research design

A research design provides a solid base for the research as a whole.It facilitates the smooth working of all operations during theresearch. This will make the research more effective because maximuminformation will be gathered without spending too much effort, time,and money. Planning of a design should be done cautiously because asmall mistake may alter the entire purpose of the project. Throughresearch design, an investigator is able to organize his ideas sothat he can easily recognize and fix his mistakes. In addition, theresearch will help me think critically about information that will beimportant for addressing the research questions. This research isrelevant for organizations that have not implemented transformationleadership because the system has been proved to be beneficial.


I will not beresearching about the reasons that cause many educationalinstitutions not to have implemented transformational leadership.This is because of the limitation of time and measures used tocollect the data. The time provided for the research was not enoughfor an extensive research on this topic. After completing myinterpretations of the data, I discovered that the way in which Igathered data inhibited my ability to do a thorough analysis of theresults. I regret not including a question that could have helpedaddress the problem in my questionnaire. Future researchers shouldrevise the specific methods of data collection.

Theboundaries that I have chosen for my sample or study are focusing onthe importance of transformational leadership in schools and itseffects on students’ performance. This will help me as a researcherto obtain detailed information on the importance of transformationalleadership in schools and how it affects the performance of studentsin those schools. This will then help me convince those schools thathave not adopted transformational leadership to implement it. Theboundaries will help me concentrate my studies in these areas so thatI will be able to collect enough information within a stipulatedtime.

Researchdesign implementation

Research designimplementation is a process of ensuring that there is a clear patternto be followed while collecting data, identifying samples, hypothesisvariables and findings. Research design will be implemented byensuring that data collected are first hand data from a conversationwith the respondents. Research design will be implemented byidentifying the sample size that will be effective for arriving at aconclusion. It should be large enough in order to guarantee moreinformation.Research design before being implemented should berelated to the hypothesis of the research and researchers shouldensure that the research design accommodates all findings during aresearch.

Theresearch design should stress the use of qualitative approach in thecollection of data in order to obtain an in-depth understanding ofthe respondents. This will be conducted using interviews and everyrespondent will have an opportunity to be heard. The interviewquestions should be drafted from the research design because itprovides the procedure to be followed during data collection. Thiswill help a researcher to identify the perspectives and attitudes ofthe respondents.

Theimplementation of research design experiences some problems. Thefirst problem is financing. The research may fail to receive enoughfinances to cater for the response costs. Second is the deliverydeadline whereby it is always hard to ensure that responses remain ontrack. There can be an adverse reactions to the response for examplethe responses can lead to adverse reactions from stakeholders andthis may prevent them from answering questions as expected. Theimplementation process will therefore have to establish keyrelationships with stakeholders to make sure they are kept on theside. Finally, research design implementation will have a problem ofdetermining whether the responses are addressing the researchproblem. Many responses may not be clear and some may not address themain issues of concern. The expected outcome of the implementation ofresearch design is that effectiveness will be achieved becausemaximum information will be gathered without spending too mucheffort, time, and money. In addition, small mistakes that may alterthe whole purpose of the project will be avoided thus leading toaccuracy of information.


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