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School principals as instructional leaders: An investigation of school leadership capacity in the Philippines

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Swetal P Sindhvad
Abstract:
Decentralization and school-based management are redefining the role of the school principal from school building manager to instructional leader. The principal's core responsibility is to ensure quality teaching and learning in the classroom. However, in Asia many principals are not prepared for this new role and new focus. This study identified factors related to the extent Filipino school principals thought they were capable of supporting teachers' classroom instruction through instructional supervision, professional development, and classroom resources; and the extent they thought these instructional supports were effective. It also measured principals' confidence in supporting teachers' classroom instruction after participation in the instructional leadership training program, Instructional and Curricular Excellence in School Principalship for Southeast Asia (ICExCELS), offered by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH). This study was conceptually grounded in the principal-agent relationship as described by Galal (2002) and Chapman (2008), as well as a model for teacher incentives by Kemmerer (1990). Bandura's (1977) concept of self-efficacy served as a framework for investigating school principalship. Analyses were conducted on data from 364 principals. Linear regression analysis showed that Filipino principals thought their capacity to support teachers through instructional supervision and professional development was dependent on their beliefs as to whether these instructional supports could make a difference in classroom instruction, their level of control, time they spent on instructional leadership and their degree of job satisfaction. Principals' thought their capacity to support teachers through classroom resources was only dependent on their level of control over them and their beliefs as to whether they could make a difference in classroom instruction. Principals' beliefs as to whether instructional supports could make a difference in classroom instruction was the most significant factor related to principals' sense of capacity for providing instructional supervision and professional development, while their level of control was the more significant factor related to principals' sense of capacity for providing classroom resources. Results also showed that principals' beliefs as to whether instructional supports were effective in supporting teachers' classroom instruction were dependent upon how effective they think they are as school principals and how capable they think their teachers are in guiding student achievement. MANOVA results indicated no differences related to demographic and contextual factors among principals' beliefs about their capacity to support teachers and their beliefs about the effectiveness of instructional supervision, professional development, and classroom resources. Seventy-five percent of principals attributed their capacity to the hands-on training they received. The findings are important for formulation and implementation of school-based management policies, and for the design of education reform initiatives and training programs supporting school principals to be instructional leaders.

TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS……………………………………………………………….i ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………...…….....ii LIST OF TABLES……………………………………………………………………...viii LIST OF APPENDICES………………………………………………….…………...…ix LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS…………………………………….……………………....x MAP OF THE PHILIPPINES……………………………………………………………xi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………..….1 Problem Statement………………………………………………………………...2 Conceptual Framework……………………………………………………………7 Research Questions………………………………………………………………10 Limitations……………………………………………………………………….10 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW………………………………………………...12 Role of the School Principal in an Era of Decentralization……………………...12 School-Based Management……………………………………………………...15 Instructional Leadership…………………………………………………..……..16 Principal’s Self Efficacy for Instructional Leadership…......................................19 Cultivating Principals’ Sense of Efficacy……………………………………….22 Constructing Principal Self Efficacy Scales…………………………………….25 Instructional Leadership Practices as Teacher Incentives………………………27 School Leadership Training……………………………………………………..30 Shaping Principal Self-Efficacy through Training...…………………………….33 Country Context…………………………………………………………………36

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Issues in Education Quality in the Philippines…...……………………………..36 Traditional Bureaucratic Model of Education Sector in the Philippines……………………………………………………………..………...38 Traditional Role of the School Principal in the Philippines……………………..39 Decentralization of Education Sector Reforming Filipino School Principalship……………………………………………………………..39 Organizational Reform of Education Sector…………………………………..…43 Instructional Leadership Training by SEAMEO INNOTECH…………………..46 Summary of the Literature Review………………………………………………51 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY….……………………………………………………54 Sample…………………………………………………………………...……….54 Instrumentation…………………………………………………………………..56 Survey Dissemination……………………………………………………………62 Analysis………………………………………………………………………….62 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND ANALYSES…………………………………………..64 Research Question 1……………………………………………………………..64 Research Question 2…………………………………………………..…………74 Research Question 3…………………………………………………………..…77

Research Question 4……………………………………………………………..79

CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION……………………………….…......................................81

Research Question 1……………………………………………………………..81 Time for Instructional Leadership…………………………………….…82

vi

Principal-Master Teacher Relationship Impacts Principal’s sense of Job Satisfaction………………………………………………………………83 Political Implications of (Shared) Control……………………………....86 Perceived Effectiveness Determining Received Capacity…………….....88 Organizational Structures Shaping Principal’s Perceived Capacity in

Providing Professional Development and Instructional

Supervision……………………………………………………………....89

Research Question 2…………………………………………………………..…91 Research Question 3………………………………………..……………………94 Research Question 4……………………………………………………………..96

Implications for Policy and Practice…………………………………………….97

Mandating Development of School Mission, Goals, and

School Improvement Plan Channels Principals’ Time on Instructional

Leadership.................................................................................................97

Distributed Leadership Reflective in SIP………………………………..98

Building Capacity of Master Teacher Strengthens Teacher Incentives for

Improving Classroom Instruction………………………………………..99

Leadership Training to be Designed Uniformly to Provide Mastery

Experiences in Providing Professional Development and Supervision..100

Principals’ Perception of Teacher Capacity is Key to Introduction of

Education Reforms………………………………………………….....100

Implications for Theory……………………………………………………......101

vii

Organizational Aspects and Kemmerer’s Framework of Teacher

Incentives………………………………………………………………101

Contributions to Literature…………………………..…………………………101

Directions for Future Research…………………………..…………..................103

Conclusion………………………………….…………………………………..103 Bibliography……………………………………..…………………..………....104 Appendices…….……………………………………………..…………………120

viii

LIST OF TABLES Table 1. RA 9511 Refining School Principalship in the Philippines…………………….42 Table 2. Sources of Efficacy Information Linked to ICExCELS Training……………….50 Table 3. Characteristics of Respondent Sample…………………………………………55 Table 4. Survey Scales…………………………………………………………………..57 Table 5. Capacity Scale Items…………………………………………………………...58 Table 6. Items Measuring Perceived Effectiveness of Instructional Supports…………..59 Table 7. Eigenvalues for Capacity Scale Items………………………………………….66 Table 8. Factor Loadings………………………………………………………………...67 Table 9. Items Composing Each of Three Factors………………………………………68 Table 10. Means, Standard Deviations, and Coefficients of Variation for Dependent and

Independent Variables…………………………………………………………70

Table 11. Summary of Linear Regression Results Predicting Principal’s Sense of

Capacity………………………………………………………………………..71

Table 12. Summary of Linear Regression Analyses……………………………………...73

Table 13. Summary of Predictor Variables and Linear Regression Predicting Perceived

Effectiveness of Instructional Supports………………………………………...75

Table 14. Results of 5-way MANOVA……………………………………………………78 Table 15. Principals’ Confidence Rating in Providing Instructional Supports after

ICExCELS Training Components (Percent)…………………………………...80

ix

LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix A ICExCELS Module Assignments………………………………………120

Appendix B Filipino School Principal Capability Survey…………………………...117

Appendix C Descriptive Statistics……………………………………………………123

x

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

ADB - Asian Development Bank ARMM - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao CALABARZON - Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon CAR - Cordillera Administrative Region CARAGA – Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur CTI - Control over Teacher Incentives DepED - Department of Education ETI - Effectiveness of Teacher Incentives HSRT - High School Readiness Test ICExCELS - Instructional and Curricular Excellence in School Principalship for Southeast Asia IE - Score Incentives Effectiveness Score iFLEX - Innotech Flexible Learning Management System INSET - Inservice Training LEARNTECH – eXCELS - Learning Technology for Excellence in School Principalship for Southeast Asia LTC - Level of Teacher Capacity MANOVA - multivariate analysis of variance MIMAROPA - Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan MT - Master Teacher NCES - National Center for Education Statistics NCR - National Capital Region NEAT - National Elementary Achievement Test NSAT - National Secondary Achievement Test NSCB - National Statistical Coordination Board PEPSA - Philippine Elementary School Principals’ Association PTA - Parent-Teacher Association RA - Republic Act SAC - School Advisory Committee SBM - School Based Management SEAMEO INNOTECH - Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology SIP - School Improvement Plan SMC - School Management Committee TIL - Time on Instructional Leadership UNESCO - United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization

xi

(Philippines, 2009)

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Education systems in many developing countries are being decentralized. Authority for making decisions for school improvement is devolving to the school-level which puts unprecedented pressure on school principals to be accountable for the quality of education provided by their school. This chapter discusses a problem related to school principalship in a decentralized education system. The problem is grounded in the principal-agent paradigm as described by Galal (2002) and Chapman (2008), as well as a model for teacher incentives by Kemmerer (1990). A discussion explaining how the construct of self-efficacy by Bandura (1977) serves as a framework for investigating school principalship for this study is included. The chapter concludes with the research questions that guided this study. The educational value of decentralization lies in the devolution of authority and responsibility for schools from the central-level administration to the schools themselves. Shifting decision making to those closer to the school and community leads to decisions that are more responsive to local conditions and needs. If principals are not prepared for this new level of authority and increased responsibility, then any educational value decentralization may hold is lost. The level of responsibility principals must assume is further compounded by the pressures for improved education quality that already exist in most developing countries. A number of developing countries report near universal access and the leveling of enrollment growth at the primary school level. This increases attention to improving quality of education.

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A consequence of this increased attention to quality is that administrators at all levels of the education sector, particularly school principals, need a better understanding of the teaching and learning processes and the actions that are likely to improve the quality of education. Even when resources are available, the problem principals face in improving school quality is knowing which inputs and actions will lead to improved teaching and learning. There is a great need to improve education management at the school level. This need is widely advocated, although least examined as education systems become decentralized. Original research investigating the factors that contribute to principals’ sense of capacity for improving school quality under a decentralized system would provide important insights for strengthening education management at the school level. The current study examines the extent to which organizational structures of the decentralized education system contribute to principal’s sense of capacity for providing teacher incentives to motivate improved teaching practice in the Philippines. Problem Statement In many developing countries, decentralization of education and school-based management (SBM) are creating new challenges for the school principal that few are able to meet (Chapman, 2000). The principal is increasingly expected to create a climate that is conducive to teaching and learning; work towards improving student performance and be accountable for results; support and supervise teachers’ work in instruction and classroom management; supervise the use of the curriculum and its localization to ensure its relevance to the school; and ensure effective staff development programs are

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operational in the school and that teachers improve their professional competence (Atkinson, 2001). These functions define the principal’s new role as instructional leader. The challenges of instructional leadership are rooted in the principal-agent problem. Galal (2002) defines the principal-agent problem as being at the core of any education reform. The principal (e.g., a ministry official, school principal) is interested in particular outcomes (such as good quality education), but has to rely on an agent (e.g., teachers) to obtain these outcomes. Chapman (2008) states that the focus on the principal- agent problem places more concern with influencing the educational process in classrooms, where the real activities of learning occur. Lockheed and Verspoor (1991) observe that many of the teaching practices in developing countries are not conducive to student learning. Teaching practices often involve instruction for the whole class that emphasizes lectures by the teacher who then has students copy from the blackboard while offering them few opportunities to ask questions or participate in learning (Fuller and Heyneman, 1989). Classroom teaching in developing countries is also characterized by student memorization of texts with few opportunities to work actively with the material, and little ongoing monitoring and assessment of student learning through homework, classroom quizzes, or tests. The principal as instructional leader is charged to implement innovative teaching methods that engage students in more active rather than passive learning. However, teachers are likely to resist the principal’s efforts toward implementing innovative teaching methods. One reason for teacher resistance to innovation is captured in the “worklife complexity hypothesis” (Snyder, 1990; Chapman and Mählck, 1997). When principals introduce policies and instructional activities that alter the activities of

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the classroom, those instructional interventions may seriously impinge on the work lives of teachers. Virtually all innovations increase the complexity of teachers’ work lives by expecting them to learn new content, teach in new ways, or use different instructional materials (Chapman, 2008). Increased complexity often leads to people to resist innovation (Spillane, Reiser and Reimer, 2002). Principals can respond to this resistance by either lowering the complexity of the intervention or by increasing incentives so that teachers believe their extra effort is being rewarded (Chapman, 1997). Kemmerer (1990) discusses instructional support, which includes training, instructional materials, and supervision, as an incentive for teachers. Instructional support may contribute to teacher’s sense of personal efficacy, or teacher’s belief that they can help students learn. A teacher who does not know what to do in the classroom and has little opportunity to learn will eventually attend less, or if he or she attends, they will use instructional time for other activities (Ashton and Webb, 1986). Kemmerer argues that instructional materials play a crucial role in teachers' assessments of their own instructional competence. Teachers are more likely to acquire a sense of competence when they are provided with a blueprint for organizing students, presenting the lesson, and providing feedback and practice. In this regard, textbooks, particularly in developing countries where other reading materials are scarce, have been shown not only to affect teacher performance but to have a separate and independent effect on student learning (Heyneman, Farrell, and Sepulveda-Stuardo, 1981; Verspoor, 1986; Sepulveda-Stuardo and Farrell, 1983). Kemmerer also argues that teachers, particularly new ones, require supportive supervision. The principal is in the best position to observe and influence teachers

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(Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991). The support, recognition, and approval of principals are key factors in changing teaching practices (Chapman 1983; Fullan and Pomfret 1977; Waugh and Punch 1987). A study of primary school effectiveness in Burundi documents a strong and significant relationship between the frequency of teacher supervision by the school principal and student achievement: student test scores rose as the number of times the school principal visited the classroom increased. Frequent teacher supervision improved the punctuality of teachers and their adherence to the curriculum, which in turn produced higher scores (Eisemon, Schwille, and Prouty 1989). Traditionally, principals have worked under highly centralized education systems that limit their power and autonomy in making decisions related to the core business of school – teaching and learning. The Ministry of Education in many countries (e.g. China, Thailand, Singapore, Malta, Nigeria, Pakistan) solely designs a unified national curriculum, syllabus, materials and exams and guides funding and staffing schools including teacher selection, recruitment and staff development (Oplatka, 2004). The only decision that principals have authority to make is the allocation of teachers to the various classes in the school (Fenech, 1994). Principals have mainly been engaged as school managers maintaining discipline, ordering equipment, determining staffing needs, scheduling activities, managing school finances and resources, allocating staff, and ensuring that teachers keep accurate records (Chapman and Burchfield, 1994; Chi-Kin Lee and Dimmock, 1999). As a result, principals are more inclined to perform an administrative function than an instruction-oriented function. Principals in developing countries function as the lower link in an organization chain that extends from the school through district supervisors to the central ministerial

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staff (Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991). They are usually former teachers selected to be principals mainly for their seniority rather than for their personal traits or performance. Principals often operate under significant constraints, such as chronic shortage of materials, operating funds, and staff development resources, which make instructional improvement extremely difficult to achieve. Also, principals are overburdened with administrative tasks and find it difficult to make time for instructional improvement. The extent to which principals regard supervision as part of their responsibility varies across countries since it is often performed by district inspectors or teacher supervisors that are usually far removed from the schools and their teachers. However, as a by-product of decentralization, principals are expected to take responsibility for supervision. This last point is crucial in terms of expecting principals to spearhead any school improvement efforts towards student achievement (Chapman, 2000). School principal training before the appointment is virtually nonexistent among developing countries, except for on-the-job training for a teacher who has served as a deputy or assistant principal. Studies in Egypt, Indonesia, and Paraguay have found that a principal's teaching experience and instructional leadership training (number of courses taken) are related to higher student achievement (Fuller 1987; Heyneman and Loxley 1983; Sembiring and Livingstone 1981). However, only a handful of countries, such as China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Thailand, have addressed the need to improve school management, primarily by establishing institutions to train school principals (Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991). Such institutes face three problems. First, they cannot accommodate the number of new principals needed to run the burgeoning number of schools. Second, no consensus has been reached about

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what the curriculum should reflect and who should provide the training. Institute staff often transplant curricula and methodologies derived from their overseas training without adapting them to the sociocultural context and needs of their country and community. Third, the national policies for training administrators are not coherent, which hinders the effectiveness of these institutes (Lockheed and Verspoor, 1991; Chapman, 2002; Hallinger and Leithwood, 1996). The aim of the current study is to address the need for improving principal’s capacity to assume new roles and responsibilities in a decentralized system. The study focuses on principals in the Philippines and their capacity for providing instructional support to teachers. Principalship in the Philippines is an ideal case for examination. Principals are facing the challenges of working within a recently decentralized education system while learning to become instructional leaders through formal training. The following section discusses how principal’s capacity to meet instructional leadership challenges are conceptualized and contextualized to the current research. Conceptual Framework In order to study Filipino principals’ perceived capacity for providing instructional support to teachers, the construct of self efficacy as discussed by Bandura (1977) is employed. The construct of self-efficacy is grounded in social cognitive theory and consists of two dimensions: personal self-efficacy and outcome expectancy. Personal self-efficacy is defined as “a judgment of how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations” (Bandura 1982, p. 122). Outcome expectancy on the other hand, is defined by Bandura (1977) as “a person’s estimate that a given behavior will lead to certain outcomes” (p. 193). Bandura (1982) asserts that

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behavior is best predicted through examination of both self-efficacy and outcome expectancy beliefs. Self-efficacy is a cognitive construct that is task and context specific (Bandura, 1977). The use of self efficacy in this study follows the investigation of supports cultivating principals’ sense of efficacy by Tschannen-Moran and Gareis (2004). The authors define principal’s sense of efficacy as a judgment of his or her capabilities to structure a particular course of action in order to produce desired outcomes in the school he or she leads. McCormick (2001) further specifies it is as the principal’s self-perceived capacity to perform the cognitive and behavioral functions necessary to regulate group processes in relation to goal achievement. Together, the authors explain principals’ perceived capacity, as applied to this study. Tschannen-Moran and Gareis (2004) explain that the role of self-efficacy beliefs in effective leadership is multifaceted. Perceived self efficacy has been found to influence analytic strategies, direction-setting, and subsequent organizational performance of managers (Paglis and Green, 2002; Wood and Bandura, 1989). A robust sense of efficacy is necessary to sustain the productive attentional focus and persistent effort needed to succeed at organizational goals (Wood and Bandura, 1989). Tschannen-Moran and Gareis (2004) also explain that, as school leaders, principals must facilitate group goal attainment by establishing and maintaining an environment favorable to group performance. Drawing the connection between social cognitive theory and leadership, McCormick (2001) notes that, “Successful leadership involves using social influence processes to organize,

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direct, and motivate the actions of others. It requires persistent task-directed effort, effective task strategies, and the artful application of various conceptual, technical, and interpersonal skills” (p. 28). Leadership self-efficacy has been related to performance evaluations by observers in both leadership simulations and in ratings by peers and superiors in actual work settings (Chemers, Watson, and May, 2000; Paglis and Green, 2002). In these studies, the self-efficacy beliefs of leaders were also shown to impact the attitude and performance of followers. Leaders’ perceived self-efficacy beliefs were related to subordinates’ performance abilities, as well as to success at gaining followers’ commitment to the task. The self-efficacy of organizational leaders has also been shown to mediate employee’s engagement with their work and to overcoming obstacles to change (Luthans and Peterson, 2002). In this study, self efficacy has the potential to reveal insights into school principal’s judgment of their capacity in providing instructional supports for improved teacher performance and their judgment on whether the instructional supports will lead to improved teacher performance. It is hypothesized that the findings from this study will enable insights into how principals’ perceived capacity has the potential to gain teachers’ commitment for improved instruction and to affect their teaching abilities. Research questions guiding this study follow.

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Research Questions The study investigates the following research questions: 1. To what extent do principals believe that they have the capacity to provide instructional supports? (principals’ perceived capacity)

2. To what extent do principals believe that instructional supports lead to improved teacher performance? (principals’ perceived effectiveness of instructional supports)

3. To what extent do principals’ perceived capacity and principals’ perceived effectiveness of instructional supports differ among principals who differ with respect to gender, school level, highest level of education attained, region, and percentage of student body living at poverty level?

4. To what extent do principals perceive Instructional Leadership training provided by SEAMEO INNOTECH to be related to their level of confidence in providing instructional supports? Limitations Limitations of this study center on the use of self reported perceptions of principals, sample characteristics of respondents, and social desirability bias. Responses did not represent the general population of school principals in the Philippines since the sample was not randomly selected. The survey represents only one point in time. The time and place of survey dissemination, and the existence of others during survey completion were likely to contribute to the tendency of respondents to reply in a manner

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that may be viewed favorably by others. Principals may have over estimated their sense of efficacy leading to social desirability bias. The external validity of the results of this study was limited by the lack of information regarding the selection criteria for school principals to participate in the Instructional Leadership training provided by SEAMEO INNOTECH. This was also a factor limiting internal validity.

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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter provides a review of the literature organized into five major components. First, the discussion focuses on issues related to the role of the school principal in a decentralized education system, and the significance of school-based management and instructional leadership in re-formulating the role of the school principal. Second, the discussion turns to understanding principals’ self-efficacy and how it is measured. Third, instructional leadership is linked to teacher incentives influencing teacher self-efficacy. Fourth, school leadership training is discussed and the potential for shaping principals’ self-efficacy. And, finally, school-based management, school leadership, and training are discussed in the context of decentralization in the Philippines. The chapter ends with the research questions central to this study and hypotheses. Role of the School Principal in an Era of Decentralization Policies toward decentralization of the education sector exist in almost every country in Asia. However, there is considerable difference in the form it takes within each country context. Decentralization is generally defined as the devolution of authority and responsibility for schools from the central-level administration to intermediate-level organization and ultimately to schools (Chapman, 2002; Zajda, 2004). Much of the literature explaining decentralization of education discusses the challenges specific to central-level administration (i.e. Ministries of Education) and intermediate-level organizations (i.e. district authorities) in decision-making processes and the changes necessary to the functions within those levels of management (ADB, 2001b, 2002). A segment of the literature discusses the challenges school-level management (i.e. school principals) must face in taking on new responsibilities inherited by central-level

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administration and the changes demanded to operate effectively in their new roles towards school improvement (King and Ozler, 1998; Leithwood and Menzies, 1998; Chapman, 2000; Gamage and Sooksomchitra, 2004; Grauwe, 2005). Within this segment, Chapman (2000) acknowledges the fact that decentralization is placing new pressures on the school principal that few are prepared to meet while emphasizing the urgency of strengthening and then supporting school-level management across Asia. Chapman (2000) also provides insight into how the increasing significance of improving education quality and the increasing competition for resources affect the revised role of school principals, which are crucial factors others miss when considering the future of school leadership in Asia. Chapman (2000) explains that, in theory, school principals have responsibility in four areas. First, school management, which includes ordering supplies, ensuring teachers are hired and assigned, information gathering, and basic record keeping, is viewed in many countries as the school principal’s chief set of responsibilities. Second, school- ministry communications, which consists largely of completing reports required by the central ministry, is a major task for school principals in some countries. Third, school- community relations involve working with community councils, community development associations, parent-teacher associations (PTAs), parent groups, and other local organizations that have interest in the schools. The goal is often to encourage community support of the school such as by gaining donations for facilities construction and maintenance or teacher subsidies. Finally, instructional supervision is the responsibility most directly linked to the quality of teaching. However, the extent to which school principals regard instructional supervision as part of their responsibility varies across

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countries, as instructional supervision often falls on the shoulders of district inspectors or teacher supervisors that are usually far removed from the schools and their teachers. As a by-product of decentralization, school principals are expected to take full responsibility for instructional supervision, despite the fact that this function is the least engaged by school principals to begin with. This last point is crucial to understand in terms of expecting school principals to spearhead any school improvement efforts towards student achievement (Chapman, 2000). The level of responsibility of the school principal is further compounded by the pressures for improved education quality and greater efficiency within education systems that exist in most Asian countries. The urgency for strengthening and supporting school- level management is not only due to the new wave of decentralization, but also as a result of demographic and economic trends seen in many Asian countries. Chapman (2000) argues that many countries are experiencing near universal access and leveling of enrollment growth at the primary school level which increases attention to improving the quality of education. One consequence of this shift to quality is that administrators at all levels of the education sector, particularly school principals, will need a better understanding of the teaching and learning processes and which actions are likely to improve the quality of education. Even when resources are available, the problem school principals face in improving school quality is knowing which inputs and actions will lead to positive outcomes in student learning. The competition for scare resources is huge in many Asian countries due to issues of poverty, epidemic, and pollution that continuously lead governments to allocate resources to causes of catastrophe. Spending on education is often dismissed and the long-term gains offered by education are minimized (Chapman,

Full document contains 144 pages
Abstract: Decentralization and school-based management are redefining the role of the school principal from school building manager to instructional leader. The principal's core responsibility is to ensure quality teaching and learning in the classroom. However, in Asia many principals are not prepared for this new role and new focus. This study identified factors related to the extent Filipino school principals thought they were capable of supporting teachers' classroom instruction through instructional supervision, professional development, and classroom resources; and the extent they thought these instructional supports were effective. It also measured principals' confidence in supporting teachers' classroom instruction after participation in the instructional leadership training program, Instructional and Curricular Excellence in School Principalship for Southeast Asia (ICExCELS), offered by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH). This study was conceptually grounded in the principal-agent relationship as described by Galal (2002) and Chapman (2008), as well as a model for teacher incentives by Kemmerer (1990). Bandura's (1977) concept of self-efficacy served as a framework for investigating school principalship. Analyses were conducted on data from 364 principals. Linear regression analysis showed that Filipino principals thought their capacity to support teachers through instructional supervision and professional development was dependent on their beliefs as to whether these instructional supports could make a difference in classroom instruction, their level of control, time they spent on instructional leadership and their degree of job satisfaction. Principals' thought their capacity to support teachers through classroom resources was only dependent on their level of control over them and their beliefs as to whether they could make a difference in classroom instruction. Principals' beliefs as to whether instructional supports could make a difference in classroom instruction was the most significant factor related to principals' sense of capacity for providing instructional supervision and professional development, while their level of control was the more significant factor related to principals' sense of capacity for providing classroom resources. Results also showed that principals' beliefs as to whether instructional supports were effective in supporting teachers' classroom instruction were dependent upon how effective they think they are as school principals and how capable they think their teachers are in guiding student achievement. MANOVA results indicated no differences related to demographic and contextual factors among principals' beliefs about their capacity to support teachers and their beliefs about the effectiveness of instructional supervision, professional development, and classroom resources. Seventy-five percent of principals attributed their capacity to the hands-on training they received. The findings are important for formulation and implementation of school-based management policies, and for the design of education reform initiatives and training programs supporting school principals to be instructional leaders.