The quality and constant improvement of a school largely depends on its principal’s leadership skills. However, monitoring, assessing, and even more so enhancing the latter can be very challenging--and this especially in independent schools.
Particularly interesting in this regard is a new study by Wiyono (2018), who set out to investigate the effects of self-evaluation on principals’ leadership skills, as well as on teachers’ motivation and school improvement.
More precisely, the author focused on “transformational” leadership skills. As originally theorized by Bass (1985), transformational leadership puts the emphasis on the improvement of personnel motivation as the most effective way to achieve an organization’s mission. Concretely, it entails the following four dimensions:
For the purpose of the study, 120 Indonesian principals were assigned for 6 months to 3 different groups: self-evaluation with feedback (double-loop learning), self-evaluation without feedback (single-loop learning), and neither self-evaluation nor feedback.
In the first group, participants were first trained in the use of a 32-item likert scale based on Bass’ theory and measuring their transformational leadership skills. Some these items included statements such as:
“I convey ideas of the school mission to the teachers and other school members vividly”
“In the execution of daily tasks, teachers have confidence in me”
“I provide optimal encouragements for teachers to achieve school goals”
“In managing the school, I pay attention to the needs of each teacher individually”
They then completed this self-report 3 times, and used the same instrument to receive feedback from a large number of teachers (N=240). Each time, the analysis of the results led to a diagnosis and an action plan, to be assessed 2 months later.
Similar questionnaires were used to assess both teachers’ motivation and school improvement.
Confirming the initial hypothesis, findings evidenced a significant effect of self-evaluation on principal’s transformational leadership skills, teachers’ work motivation, as well as school improvement; and the effect was even stronger when the self-evaluation was conjoined with subordinates’ feedback.
Wiyono (2018), “The effect of self-evaluation on the principal’s transformational leadership, teachers’ work motivation, teamwork effectiveness, and school improvement”, International Journal of Leadership in Education, 21-6, pp. 1-21