The relationship between leadership behaviors, teacher collaboration, and student achievement

Angela Nix McHenry

Abstract

Educational administrators face the unprecedented challenge of increasing student achievement for all students. One response to this challenge has been to increase and improve teacher collaboration. This study analyzed the relationship between elementary principals' leadership behaviors, teacher collaboration, and student achievement. The relationship between the variables of teacher age, years of experience, and years working with the current principal were also analyzed using multiple regression. A random sample of 161 Mississippi elementary teachers in 15 schools were surveyed, using the researcher-designed questionnaire, Leadership for Collaboration. These responses measured the teachers' perception of their elementary principals' leadership behaviors and the level of collaboration in their schools. Multiple regression was used to analyzed the relationship between these variables, and student achievement of fourth graders, as measured by the Mississippi Curriculum Test2. Results indicate that there is a significant relationship between leadership behaviors and teacher collaboration. However, these same leadership behaviors were not found to be predictors of student achievement. The variables of teacher age, years of experience, and years working with the current principal were not significantly related to the personal collaboration ratings of teachers. This study has provided support to the existing literature regarding the influence of principal leadership to the development of a collaborative environment in schools. Additional research should focus on the relationship between teacher collaboration and student achievement.