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Principal Leadership and Teachers' Sense of Self-Efficacy: A Meta-Analysis Open Access

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Researchers have explored various antecedents to teacher efficacy in an effort to shape leadership practice to promote this elusive construct. This study was conducted as a meta-analysis of the extant literature regarding principal leadership and teachers’ sense of self-efficacy.After a comprehensive search, a sample of 29 studies were determined to have met the inclusion criteria for this meta-analysis. These studies referenced Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy as a theoretical framework and tested a correlation between teacher efficacy and principal leadership. The purpose of this study was to deepen the understanding of how much, if at all, principal leadership affects teachers’ sense of self-efficacy. The research questions for this study were as follows: (a) To what extent is school principal leadership associated with teachers’ sense of teaching efficacy? and (b) Does the relationship between school principal leadership and teachers’ sense of teaching efficacy vary as a function of the measured leadership constructs?Pearson correlation was used as the index of effect size. An overall effect size ofr = .31 was calculated for the sample of studies. Each of the 29 studies was coded for the moderator of principal leadership according to the leadership framework used in the study. Leadership constructs included instructional leadership, transformational leadership, supportive leadership, and distributed leadership. Two studies were also coded as referencing principal leadership in general. Sensitivity tests and fail-safe N tests were conducted to address limitations. The effect size of those studies coded for instructional leadership was r = .40. The results, Q1 = 4.249, p = .039, indicate that the effect size of studies coded as instructional leadership (r = .399) varies from the effect size of studies not coded instructional leadership (r = .295) more than would be expected from sampling variability. The effect size of those studies coded for nonspecific leadership was r = .47 and those not coded as nonspecific was r = .30. The results, Q1 = 16.609, p = .0001, indicate this effect size also varies significantly. Conclusions reached included that principal leadership is moderately correlated with teacher efficacy. Further research, perhaps identifying the mechanisms by which leadership affects efficacy, is warranted.

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