On 22 November, Fundació Jaume Bofill, and Ivàlua – two leading organizations of the field of education in Catalonia – organized an event in the emblematic building Casa Macaya of Barcelona. The event was part of the cycle “What Works in Education?” (in Catalan: “Què funciona en educació?” About this cycle see: http://www.fbofill.cat/que-funciona-en-educacio-evidencies-la-millora-educativa) and had a double aim; on one hand, presenting the report of the research by pedagogical researchers Alvaro Choi and Maria Gil entitled: “Does Leadership Affect School Student Academic Performance?”
The research tries and determine whether a cause-effect relationship can be established on the basis of current research between leadership style and student performance… without trying to summarize the report in its entirety, one of its authors, Mr. Choi indicated that evening in Barcelona, that there was no possibility to establish a cause-effect relationship between one thing and the other but one of “possible impact assessment”… what does that mean?
Well in principle as Mr. Choi went on, it means that there are leadership activities that seem to affect student performance, but the mechanism by which they do so, is yet to be determined. One of the factors that may have an effect as per existing data is school leadership (director) profiles; that includes three main variables amongst others:
- Leaders of “higher quality” have bigger impact (the problem about defining quality is that it is often base on cognitive traits of the person).
- Training background… all leaders have similar training background in Catalonia, so it is hard to make out its actual impact.
- Longer tenure; it is clear that leaders with longer tenure did not have better impact on student performance. Quantity of experience did not matter as much as its quality. For example those director who had undergone inspection and received its feed-back obtained higher performance results.
To learn more about other variables, you should have a look at the report available (and downloadable in PDF) in Catalan and in English languages on the website of Fundació Jaume Bofill.