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Journal of Education and Development in the Caribbean

School Constituents' Rating of the Performance Dimensions of High Performing Principals Based on School Types

Publication Date: 
December 2012

The study seeks to determine school constituents’ rating of the leadership dimensions of high-performing principals based on school types. A questionnaire developed surrounding nine dimensions was distributed to school constituents from 125 schools across Jamaica which included classroom teacher, grade coordinator, senior teacher, head of department, vice principal, board chairmanship, PTA president and education officer. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) generated four dimensions or factors that conceptualized leadership performance in effective principals. The one-way ANOVA between groups test was used for both sets of variables. The results showed that there were differences in the scores between primary/all-age school, upgraded high school and traditional high school on all four dimensions — Personal philosophy and abilities; leadership; student support systems; and community support and relationships. Post hoc comparisons using the Games-Howell test showed that there were differences in the scores among the three types of schools on the components of Personal Philosophy and Abilities, Community Support and Relationships, and Student Support Systems, but there were no differences in scores between traditional high schools and upgraded high schools. The strength of the contextual factors seemed to determine the extent to which leadership behaviour has to be adjusted to achieve effective performance. Until a set of performance factors that will nullify the impact of context are discovered, principals must be prepared to apply a flexible approach to the leadership of schools in order to achieve effectiveness.

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