Instructional leadership teams and school climate: A descriptive study of leadership behavior and indicators of climate in secondary schools

Date of Completion

January 2001


Education, Administration|Education, Secondary




This inquiry focused on instructional leadership and school climate among the faculty of secondary schools. Current research suggests that instructional leaders need to work together with their faculties to create an open, healthy climate in order to realize school goals, successfully implement curriculum, and ultimately improve student achievement. This inquiry worked to clarify the relationship between three dimensions of instructional leadership and open, healthy climates for secondary school instructional leadership teams and their teachers. ^ Two hundred secondary schools were randomly selected to participate in the study from an initial pool of four-hundred forty-two Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut schools. Results reflect the nine high schools that participated in the most meaningful ways. The Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PRVIRS) was used to gather data on leadership behavior, (specifically, defining the school's mission, managing curriculum and instruction, and promoting a climate conducive to learning) from both the instructional leadership team (ILT) and faculty perspectives. Similarly, the Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire for Secondary Schools (OCDQ-RS) and the Organizational Health Inventory for Secondary Schools (OHI-S) were used to gather data on indicators of climate. The OCDQ-RS measured indicators of school openness while the OHI-S measured indicators of school health. ^ After the completing the surveys, both ILT and faculty members at five of the schools participated in interviews. These discussions probed more deeply into the issues surrounding instructional leadership and school climate at their respective sites. Statistical analysis indicated significant correlations among many variables at the nine sites participating in the surveys. Moreover, t-test analyses showed notable differences between ILT and staff members on two of the five variables: promoting climate and school health. Due to the differences in perspective between ILT and staff members on the issues of instructional leadership and school climate, it is evident that instruments like the PIMRS, OCDQ, and OHI should be distributed at high schools perhaps twice a year. The information gathered from these tools, then analyzed and discussed in a school wide team would provide valuable information that, over time, may increase the level of trust within a school and ultimately improve student success. ^