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There are a number of research methodologies that can be used for carrying out an investigation. The type of methodology chosen for use depends on the nature of the topic or question to be covered in the research. These methodologies may either be quantitative or qualitative in nature. Meta-analysis is a method which involves the statistical arrangement of all existing and related studies on a given subject matter of interest.
This is usually with an aim of determining the collective findings of the particular investigations. The approach seeks to provide a comprehensive solution to major issues/concerns. The essay summarizes Chapter 3 of the book titled, School Leadership that Works from Research to Results.
The chapter covers the primary research methodology that was used by the authors. Meta-analysis was the type used in this particular study. It is a technique that uses quantitative approaches during the synthesis of a study in a given domain. Well structured questionnaires were used where teachers were expected to give their perceptions of the principal’s leadership behaviors.
The authors sought to investigate a very sensitive domain of leadership. They were interested in studying school leadership as practiced by principles. The study involved an analysis of very crucial data which had been collected and analyzed by other researchers. The authors considered any and available study findings from 1970 to those which have been done lately.
The authors Marzano, Waters, and McNulty did a meta-analysis of about 69 leadership studies. All the studies were concerned with the relationship that exists between a given school’s principal leader and that of the achievement of the student. These studies included those done since 1978 to 2001.
It is important to note that a number of studies met these outlined criteria. However, not all of them could be included in the analysis process. This is because, according to the authors, the studies dealt with leadership “styles”. These styles are general categories of leadership character and behavior that are based on some predetermined theory.
The chapter provides an example of a study conducted by Evans and Teddlie (1995) who examined the relationship that exists between the initiator, manager, and responder styles of leadership and overall student achievement in schools.
Another study conducted by High and Achilles (1986) sought to find out the relationship between the following styles and school achievement: referent, expert, enabler, coercer, legal authority, norm setter, and involver.
These studies have been acknowledged as providing very useful perspectives as far as leadership and school achievement is concerned. However, the authors did not use them during their meta-analysis due to their broad representation of behavior categories. In fact, they themselves were actually found to be summaries of more specific behaviors.
Since the main purpose of the study was to identify specific types of leadership behaviors, the authors focused on researches that considered specific behaviors that had not been crumpled into very broad categories.
It is evident from the chapter that there has been a small yet significantly growing collection of literature investigating the usefulness of the principal’s influence as far as gifted and talented programs are concerned. The authors of the book have included the findings as well as conclusions of all these studies/literature.
Impact of the Study
The authors analyzed each of the study and a correlation between general leadership and student achievement was computed or drawn directly from the study. A total of 69 correlations were obtained which represented the relationship between general leadership behavior and student academic achievement.
Findings in Light of Other Studies
the authors observed that their average correlation of.25 between principal’s leadership and student achievement is much higher compared to that reported in a meta-analysis conducted by Witziers, Bosker, and Kruger (2003). Theirs’ was a correlation of.02 which indicated that there was no relationship between leadership and student achievement. Several factors contributing to the disparity in the findings are identified.
A Deeper Look
the authors stress the role of the results obtained from meta-analysis studies. That the results should never be an average; it should be a graph, as pointed out by the founder of modern meta-analysis. This is to facilitate a wider range of correlations from various studies of meta-analysis.
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It is evident from the chapter that meta-analysis presents a great opportunity to collect a mass of related material that address a specific topic or issue under investigation. The authors of this book, through meta-analysis, were able to establish the relationship between the principal leadership in a school and the achievement of students.