The article by Watson (2021) aims to examine the relationships between principals’ leadership styles and high school climate based on the perceptions of teachers in urban high schools. The author begins with identifying the background, providing evidence of poorly performing high schools in the areas with a high degree of poverty. It is hypothesized that school improvement can be achieved through changes in principals’ leadership styles, which enhance the school climate. This multivariate correlational study investigates transformational, transactional, and passive-avoidant leadership styles in relation to high school climate. The author refers to the opt-in sample technique and cross-sectional, correlational design to statistically analyze the relationships between the mentioned variables. 260 full-time equivalent teachers from five high schools of the Baltimore City Public school system were targeted. The analysis was conducted via SPSS (Version 22), using the hierarchical multiple regression.
The findings of Watson (2021) illustrate that leadership styles of principals’ were determinant to the school climate as perceived by teachers, which is consistent with the existing academic literature. It was also revealed that not only leadership style but also the school needs are related to principals’ effectiveness in maintaining proper school climate. In this study, the transformational leadership style was regarded as the most positive to improving school climate, while the transactional style was less strongly associated with organizational change. As for passive-avoidant leadership, it appeared only in case of problems and was negative to the school environment.
The implications of the study state that professional development training and executive coaching on leadership styles are necessary for leaders, teachers, and newly-hired professionals. It is also recommended to integrate transformational leadership and adjust leadership standards in high schools. Further research should focus on investigating the relationships between transformational leadership and work experience to anticipate school climate, while high school management types should also be taken into account (Milley & Arnot, 2016). Among other recommendations, there is using qualitative methods to analyze leadership styles of principals and developing new instruments linked to leadership standards to assess schools located in high-poverty urban areas (Cosner et al., 2015).
Watson, K. A. (2021). Principals’ leadership style as a predictor of school climate in urban high schools in Baltimore. 1-28.