Extant research indicates that principals are expected to serve as instructional leaders. Instructional leadership practices of principals in Israeli and US Jewish schools have, until recently, been unexplored. Therefore, this mixed-methodological study explores instructional leadership perceptions and behaviors among Israeli and US principals. Data, via questionnaires and interviews, were collected from 90 principals from each country.
Findings suggest that US principals demonstrated significantly higher levels of instructional leadership. In both groups, women principals demonstrated higher levels of instructional leadership. Our interviews provided unique insights leading to our suggestions for ways of promoting greater attention to instructional leadership by principals of both countries.
This study may contribute to the existing knowledge base available regarding the application of instructional leadership concepts and procedures by school leaders in Israel and in USA Jewish schools. The research is clear: instructional leadership is very important. Without adopting instructional leadership behaviors, school leaders will be hard-pressed to further promote student achievement in the 21st century. We hope the study can benefit educational agencies, policy makers and principal preparation program designers to emphasize the importance of instructional leadership theories and strategies. We intend to expand our study by comparing Israeli and USA principals to Arab principals in Israel as well as principals from selected countries in Europe.
Read the entire study here.