Leadership Models. Several major school leadership models have served to identify and organize the research literature regarding what is known about the competencies and characteristics of effective school leaders to enhance understanding and inform practice. Instructional leadership, which considers how school leaders influence teaching and learning and includes functions such as developing the school’s mission/vision/goals, managing every facet of the instructional program, and ensuring a positive school climate, has been consistently shown to influence teaching quality and student outcomes through several decades of research. The most recent models of instructional leadership have broadened to include examination of how factors, such as school context and teacher leadership, moderate the influence of instructional leadership. Distributed or shared leadership has also emerged as a leading model, with research suggesting that principals cannot “do it alone,” but must share leadership responsibilities among staff. Distributed leadership research has yielded positive associations between this style and a variety of teacher and student outcomes, but also suggests that effectiveness depends on allocating leadership tasks based on patterns of staff expertise to optimize outcomes. Transformational leadership, which stresses school leaders as change agents that inspire and motivate staff to improve collective efficacy and a positive school trajectory, has shown to be influential to teacher outcomes, but somewhat less influential for student outcomes than other types of leadership. Today, integrated models of leadership, which include elements of instructional, distributed, and transformation leadership are most common, and reflect how school leaders use different types of leadership in different situations and coordinate with teachers to influence instructional and learning. Also emerging are leadership frameworks for equity, such as culturally responsive leadership, that focus on how school leaders foster or inhibit equitable educational systems and student outcomes.
Citation: Donley, J., Detrich, R., States, J., & Keyworth, (2020). Leadership Models. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/quality-leadership-leadership-models