This paper will evaluate the relationship between transformational and transactional leadership skills in principals of kindergarten through eight grade schools. Seven various sources containing journals and studies have been critiqued and delineated. The discovery from these articles is that principals with transactional and transformational qualities lead effectively. The ultimate goal of a principal is to create a safe learning environment where students are able to learn to their highest potential. The focus of this paper is to explore grade schools ranging from kindergarten through eight grades and to provide the reader with ample qualities of an effective transformational and transactional leader.
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Recent studies suggest that kindergarten through eighth grade students in the United States are struggling to meet standards and are falling behind (Lucas & Valentine, 2002). Educators and principals must be held accountable. Transformational and transactional leaders obtain skills that will promote student success and teacher accountability. Leaders that guide educators, peers, parents, and students within the transactional and transformational approach will result in a positive school environment and students will work to their highest potential.
The purpose of this research is to provide principals, or leaders with effective tools for guiding, creating, and leading efficient and successful schools. Principals need to have a clear, concise grasp on leading effectively. This dissertation will provide them with accurate studies that support transactional and transformational leadership.
Research Questions and Objectives
Transformational and transactional leadership defined
Implementing transformational and transactional leadership skills for principals
Educators effectively teaching under the guidance of a transformational and transactional leader
Promoting student success and achievement for principals of kindergarten through eighth grade schools
Transformational and Transactional Leadership Skills Defined
Charisma, inspiration, and effectively communicating with subordinates are three qualities of transactional and transformational leaders (Anderson, 2008). Principals that obtain these characteristics will create a respectful rapport with educators, parents, and students (Hood, Poulson, Mason, Walker, & Dixon, 2009; Lucas, & Valentine, 2002).
Transformational leaders inspire and create positive working environments (Bono & Judge, 1004). Transactional and transformational leaders encourage team work and cooperative learning strategies. Educators that are led under the transformational and transactional approach will be able to share ideas with other members of the school community. Educators will be advised to observe other classroom settings and learn form other teachers (Chin, 2007). Principals that lead in this approach will create a positive working and learning environment. Students will be able to learn effectively and educators will be encouraged to work with and learn from fellow peers.
One recent study explored the transformational leader and concludes that leaders whom hold subordinates accountable and continuously evaluate and critique in a positive manor will be successful leaders (Chin, 2007). This type of accountability can be measured though self evaluations (Pounder, 2008).
Transformational and transactional approached to leadership must be implemented for a successful school environment (Lucas & Valentine, 2002). Researchers studied teacher reports and focused on five areas consisting of shared goals, teaching collaboration, teacher learning, teacher certainty, and teacher commitment. The authors hypothesized school principals whom score high in the identified five factors are effective transformational leaders relating to student success in schools. They intended for educators to complete a survey that evaluates their principal’s transformational leadership style. These eighteen elementary principals and their faculties were asked to return the survey in order for the author to properly assess the evaluations (Lucas & Valentine, 2002).
With the collected data, the authors discovered that increased transformational leadership principals were associated with schools that demonstrated enhanced levels of social organizations reflective of effective schools. The study also investigated two research questionnaires. The first was questionnaire was from Bass and the second from Avolio. These questionnaires determined that increased transformational principals are associated with schools that show high levels of social organizations and student success, confirming the authors’ hypothesis (Lucas & Valentine, 2002).
Educators effectively teaching under the guidance of a transformational and transactional leader
Variable One: Evaluation and Accountability
One important quality of effective teaching is that educators are able to self evaluate and self examine their teaching strategies (Pounder, 2008). Prior to school beginning, teachers will be asked by the transactional principal to self evaluate one lesson per quarter of the upcoming school year. The lesson plan will be submitted to the principal. The educator will note the pros and cons of their lesson. Self evaluation will promote the educator’s ability to ensure that effective lessons and activities are taught and implemented in the classroom (Poulson, Mason, Walker, & Dixon, 2009; Lucas, & Valentine, 2002).
Principals that lead in the transactional and transformational approach can also encourage educators to evaluate other peers. Educators can learn from one another, share ideas, and cooperatively teach under this type of leadership. (Poulson, Mason, Walker, & Dixon, 2009). This environment will result in a positive atmosphere for parents, teachers, students, and staff members.
Similar to self evaluation and peer evaluation, the transformational and transactional principal will be able to evaluate and observe the educator. The principal will meet with the teacher prior to the observed lesson. The principal will be provided with the educator’s lesson plan and together they will select a date for the observation. Next, the principal will observe the lesson. This transformational and transactional leader will ask the following questions (Anderson, 2008; Lucas, & Valentine, 2002):
Did the teacher grasp the students’ attention?
Were the students engaged throughout the lesson?
Was the material presented in a clear, concise manor?
Were the needs of each type of learner met in the lesson?
What were the students doing throughout the lesson?
Did the teacher check for understanding and ask follow-up questions?
How was the lesson concluded?
These are seven questions that the principal will note throughout the lesson.
Finally, the principal and teacher will have a post conference regarding the observation. At this conference, the principal will be able to provide the educator with notes and comments pertaining to the observed lesson. The principal will be able to discuss strengths and weaknesses and offer tools for improvement (Bono & Judge, 2004.
Variable Two: Professional Growth
Transformational and transactional leaders must encourage members to continually enhance professional growth. Continuous learning for educators will promote effective educators. As a transformational and transactional principal, opportunities for growth and improvement must be available for educators. Workshops, seminars, and meeting are essential for effective education and for teacher accountability (Bono & Judge, 2004).
Promoting student success and achievement
Students will excel under a transformational and transactional leader (Chin, 2007). Students respond positively to leaders that are charismatic, intellectual, and creative. Students are able to establish a respectful rapport with the administration and school personal (Chin, 2007). Principals whom establish the foundation of transformational and transactional leadership skills will promote student success and achievement. Data from 1,762 educators and 9,941 students
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in one large school district were obtained to explore the effects of transformational leadership practices on selected organization conditions and student engagement within the schools. The results confirmed that there were strong significant effects of such transformational and transactional leadership on student success rate. This partciular article was qualitative and provided copious amount of information relating to the field of transformational leadership and its benefit in schools (Leithwood, 2000).
Transformational and transactional leaders obtain qualities that are inspiring and successful. Principals who lead in this approach will create a safe learning environment where students are able to learn to their highest potential (Hood, Poulson, Mason, Walker, & Dixon, 2009).
Teacher accountability and performance is the second step within the transformational and transactional approach (Chin, (2007). Teachers must be able to self evaluate, evaluate peers, and participate in principal-teacher evaluation. Educators must continue to grow professional and continue their education.
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