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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2021

Lei Mee Thien, Donnie Adams and Hai Ming Koh

This study aims to investigate the relationships between distributed leadership, teacher academic optimism and teacher organisational commitment with the contextual…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationships between distributed leadership, teacher academic optimism and teacher organisational commitment with the contextual influence of gender and teaching experience.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed partial least squares structural equation modelling for data analysis. This study has selected 421 teachers from 18 secondary schools in Penang.

Findings

Distributed leadership has a positive direct effect on teacher academic optimism and organisational commitment. The relationship between distributed leadership and teacher academic optimism was stronger for male teachers and senior teachers who have more than ten years of teaching experience. However, gender and teaching experience have no significant moderating effects on the relationship between distributed leadership and teacher organisational commitment.

Research limitations/implications

The reason for the non-existent relationship between distributed leadership and teacher organisational commitment across gender and teaching experience remains unknown. In-depth investigation using interview method is required for further exploration.

Practical implications

This study complements and extends prior research on the relationships between distributed leadership, teacher organisational commitment and teacher academic optimism by providing evidence from Malaysia on how they contribute to the organisational conditions of their school.

Originality/value

This study has its originality in investigating the relationships between distributed leadership, teacher organisational commitment and academic optimism with the contextual influence of gender and teaching experience in the non-western society.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Misty M. Kirby and Michael F. DiPaola

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships among academic optimism, community engagement, and student achievement in urban elementary schools across one district.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships among academic optimism, community engagement, and student achievement in urban elementary schools across one district.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from all 35 urban elementary schools across one district in Virginia, USA. Correlation, multiple regression, and factor analyses were used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

In schools where the faculty are optimistic that their students can succeed despite the obstacle of low socioeconomic status (SES) and where the community is engaged, students are more likely to achieve at higher levels. Findings of this study also supported that community engagement, collective efficacy, trust in clients, and academic press do act as predictors to collectively influence student achievement.

Research limitations/implications

The Goddard measure for collective efficacy was replaced with one developed for more challenging settings such as urban schools.

Practical implications

Academic optimism and community engagement were found to work in ways that improve student achievement. Understanding the social contexts in classrooms and schools allows education leaders to work with faculty in examining current practice, in an effort to improve the educational outcomes for all students, even those who must overcome the obstacles to learning posed by their low SES.

Originality/value

With only one previous study of this construct in an urban elementary setting, the current study sought to test those findings in an effort to continue pushing this research agenda into urban settings.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Jason H. Wu, Wayne K. Hoy and C. John Tarter

The purpose of this research is twofold: to test a theory of academic optimism in Taiwan elementary schools and to expand the theory by adding new variables, collective…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is twofold: to test a theory of academic optimism in Taiwan elementary schools and to expand the theory by adding new variables, collective responsibility and enabling school structure, to the model.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling was used to test, refine, and expand an organizational path model of student achievement first developed in the USA.

Findings

The proposed organizational model was supported in Taiwan and was consistent with the initial studies done in the USA. Further, two concepts were added to the model, enabling structure and collective responsibility, both of which had significant indirect effects on student achievement through academic optimism. Moreover, the theoretical foundations (efficacy, trust, and academic emphasis) of the latent construct of academic optimism were confirmed again in this sample of schools in Taiwan.

Originality/value

The findings support an organizational model of student achievement, which has application in both the USA and Taiwan. The original model was supported, refined, and extended. Academic optimism is at the center of the model and explains student achievement for all students. Collective responsibility and enabling school structure both predict academic optimism directly and student achievement indirectly.

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Megan Tschannen‐Moran, Regina A. Bankole, Roxanne M. Mitchell and Dennis M. Moore

This research aims to add to the literature on Academic Optimism, a composite measure composed of teacher perceptions of trust in students, academic press, and collective…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to add to the literature on Academic Optimism, a composite measure composed of teacher perceptions of trust in students, academic press, and collective efficacy by exploring a similar set of constructs from the student perceptive. The relationships between student trust in teachers, student perceptions of academic press, and student identification with school were examined as well as how they were individually and collectively related to student achievement in the schools in an urban school district.

Design/methodology/approach

This study assessed the perceptions of students in 49 elementary, middle, and high schools in one urban district. The measures used included the Student Trust in Teachers Survey (Adams and Forsyth), the Identification with School Questionnaire (Voelkl), and an adaptation of Academic Press (Hoy, Hannum and Tschannen‐Moran). Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to explore whether these three observed variables would form a latent variable called Student Academic Optimism. Finally, the relationship of Academic Optimism to student achievement, controlling for SES, was examined using SEM.

Findings

Strong and significant relationships were found between all three of the observed variables. A CFA analysis confirmed that they formed a latent variable the authors called Student Academic Optimism. Student Academic Optimism had a significant direct effect on student achievement (b=0.73, p<0.01) while SES (percent of students eligible for the free and reduced lunch program) had a significant negative effect on student achievement (b=−0.37, p<0.01). Together student academic optimism and SES explained 67 percent of the variance in student achievement with student academic optimism making the largest contribution to the explanation.

Social implications

The findings that Student Academic Optimism was unrelated to SES and that Student Academic Optimism has a significant effect on achievement over and above the effects of SES and student demographic characteristics leads the authors to consider the possibility that SES may not be as influential as once thought when other conditions of the school environment are taken into consideration.

Originality/value

This study makes a unique contribution to the literature by focusing on the perspectives of students and by linking the measures of three important dynamics within schools to form a new construct: Student Academic Optimism.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 51 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Page A. Smith and Wayne K. Hoy

The aim of this study was two‐fold: to demonstrate a general construct of schools called academic optimism and to show it was related to student achievement in urban…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was two‐fold: to demonstrate a general construct of schools called academic optimism and to show it was related to student achievement in urban elementary schools, even controlling for socioeconomic factors, and school size.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 99 urban elementary schools in Texas and multiple regression and factor analyses were used to test a series of hypotheses guiding the inquiry.

Findings

The major hypotheses of the study were supported; academic optimism was a second‐order construct comprised of collective efficacy, faculty trust, and academic optimism. Moreover, academic optimism is a school characteristic that predicts student achievement even controlling for socioeconomic status.

Practical implications

The results support Bandura's social cognitive theory, Coleman's social capital theory, Hoy and Tarter's work on organizational climate, and demonstrate the existence of a cultural property of schools called academic optimism. Further, the findings have practical implications for developing strategies to improve the academic performance of urban schools.

Originality/value

The findings demonstrate the existence of a new collective construct, academic optimism, which has the potential to help improve the effectiveness of schools.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 45 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2020

Dhirapat Kulophas and Philip Hallinger

Research on school leadership has confirmed that principals influence teacher and student learning by building an “academic-focused ethos” in their schools. In this study…

Abstract

Purpose

Research on school leadership has confirmed that principals influence teacher and student learning by building an “academic-focused ethos” in their schools. In this study, our objective was to examine if and how the learning-centered leadership of principals influenced academic optimism of teachers and the resulting effects on their engagement in professional learning. More specifically, we examined this hypothesized set of leadership effects among teachers and principals in high schools located in Thailand.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted with 1,763 teachers and 152 principals from 159 randomly selected, medium size secondary schools located in Thailand. The research employed multi-level structural equation modeling and bootstrapping analyses in order to test and explore these relationships in a mediation model of school leadership effects on teacher professional learning through academic optimism.

Findings

Results of this study reinforce prior research which has found that principal leadership can have significant direct and indirect effects on the professional learning of teachers. This finding is important because, as elaborated earlier, scholars believe that teacher professional learning is a key to sustainable improvement in schools. More specifically, our results extend prior research in two ways. First, as the first study to link Learning-Centered Leadership with Academic Optimism, this study extends findings that point to the role of school leadership in sustaining a culture of academic optimism in schools. Second, this study also established Academic Optimism as a mediator through which school leadership supports Teacher Professional Learning.

Research limitations/implications

Although our results support a positive conclusion concerning the effects of school leadership and academic optimism on teacher learning, this was a cross-sectional study. Therefore, caution must be exercised before drawing causal attributions. For example, research has also found that teachers who work in schools that evidence features of a professional learning community are more likely to have a greater sense of collective teacher efficacy, a variable that is also associated with Academic Optimism. Therefore, although our study proposed Academic Optimism as the mediator and teacher professional learning as the dependent variable, it is also possible that this relationship could be reversed or reciprocal (i.e. mutually reinforcing). Future research should continue to examine these possibilities using longitudinal and/or experimental research designs that enable clearer delineation of causal relationships. We also suggest the utility of qualitative and mixed methods studies capable of exploring in greater depth the mechanisms through which school leadership contributes to productive teacher learning.

Practical implications

There is a need in Thailand, and elsewhere, to redefine the formal roles and professional standards of school leaders to include learning-centered practices. These standards should be embedded into the redesign of pre-service and in-service education programs for teachers and principals. We believe that, at present, relatively few school leaders in Thailand genuinely understand the meaningful impact they can have on teacher learning, and by extension, on student learning. Thus, there is a need for systemic change that recasts the nature of leadership expected from principals as well as the level of lifelong learning expected of teachers.

Originality/value

The findings from this research contribute to an evolving knowledge base on how school leaders influence teacher learning in different national contexts. The research also extends prior research by exploring the role of academic optimism as a mediator of school leadership effects on teacher learning.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 58 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Wayne Hoy

The purpose of this paper is to trace a 40‐year research journey to identify organizational properties that foster the achievement of all students, regardless of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to trace a 40‐year research journey to identify organizational properties that foster the achievement of all students, regardless of socio‐economic status (SES).

Design/methodology/approach

The author describes a search for school properties that have an impact on the cognitive and social‐emotional development of faculty and students, with special emphasis on academic achievement.

Findings

Three characteristics of schools were identified that make a positive difference for student achievement controlling for the SES: collective efficacy, collective trust in parents and students, and academic emphasis of the school. Further these three measures are elements of a latent construct, academic emphasis of school, which is a powerful predictor of student achievement regardless of SES.

Originality/value

The paper identifies school variables that are often as important, or more important, than SES in explaining academic achievement, and a new model is created to explain how academic optimism influences student achievement.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Dhirapat Kulophas, Philip Hallinger, Auyporn Ruengtrakul and Suwimon Wongwanich

In the context of Thailand’s progress towards education reform, scholars have identified a lack of effective school-level leadership as an impeding factor. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of Thailand’s progress towards education reform, scholars have identified a lack of effective school-level leadership as an impeding factor. The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a theoretical model of authentic leadership effects on teacher academic optimism and work engagement. Authentic leadership was considered a suitable model of school leadership in light of Thailand’s explicit recognition of the importance of developing the moral capacity of students and emphasis on ethical leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a quantitative cross-sectional survey design. Survey data were obtained from 605 teachers in a nationally representative sample of 182 primary schools. The data were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results indicated that the model of authentic leadership effects on teachers’ academic optimism and work engagement was validated. A moderate relationship was observed between authentic leadership and the dependent measures of teacher attitudes.

Practical implications

The study identified a potentially important lack of alignment between the espoused values and actions/decisions of school principals in Thailand. When combined with prior research conducted on leadership for educational reform in Thailand, our findings highlight the systemic nature of the problem faced in changing traditional patterns of behavior in Thai schools. More specifically, despite change in the nation’s educational goals, human resource management of the nation’s school leaders continues to produce administrators and managers rather than leaders, either instructional or moral.

Originality/value

The study extends prior studies of school leadership in the context of Thailand’s education reform that focused more specifically on principal instructional leadership in Thailand. In addition, this study of authentic school leadership is one of only a few conducted outside of Western societies.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Raymona K. Bevel and Roxanne M. Mitchell

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between academic optimism (AO) and elementary reading achievement (RA).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between academic optimism (AO) and elementary reading achievement (RA).

Design/methodology/approach

Using correlation and hierarchical linear regression, the authors examined school‐level effects of AO on fifth grade reading achievement in 29 elementary schools in Alabama.

Findings

Correlational analysis revealed that AO was positively correlated with RA (r=0.78, p<0.01), as were all the components of AO, namely: collective efficacy (r=0.70, p<0.01); faculty trust in students and parents (r=0.83, p<0.01); and academic emphasis (r=0.58, p<0.01). Percent free and reduced lunch, which was a proxy for socio‐economic status (SES), was negatively correlated with all the variables in the study. Hierarchical linear regression revealed that academic optimism had a significant effect on RA (b=0.52, p<0.01) and accounted for approximately 18 per cent of the variance in reading achievement above the effects of SES.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations include the small sample size of 29 schools and the fact that these schools were a part of a sample of convenience. Findings support the conceptualization that AO has a positive effect on RA.

Practical implications

While SES has been often seen as an insurmountable factor, this research suggests that the contextual conditions of trust, efficacy, and academic emphasis create an environment conducive for higher academic achievement, despite the level of poverty in the school.

Originality/value

The paper confirms prior studies that have found AO to be linked to achievement and further demonstrates the positive relationships between AO and RA in a sample of elementary schools.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2019

Anugamini Priya Srivastava and Sonal Shree

Inclusive organizations believe in integrating all toward synergistic outcomes. However, the extent to which inclusive education plays their role toward inclusive…

Abstract

Purpose

Inclusive organizations believe in integrating all toward synergistic outcomes. However, the extent to which inclusive education plays their role toward inclusive organizations requires more explorations. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical model exploring authentic leadership (AL) as a predictor of inclusive organization in an Indian school context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper theoretically develops a model to explore and establish inclusive classroom (IC) settings in emerging nations.

Findings

The study further provides academic optimism (AO), a latent term comprising collective efficacy, faculty trust and academic emphasis as its dimensions to intervene the linkage between AL and IC. Since teaching pedagogies help teachers to express their real intentions, this study also posits art-based innovation pedagogy as a future-oriented art pedagogy to strengthen the effect of teachers’ AO on IC.

Originality/value

This study will benefit the practitioners and academicians to re-design their policies and practices in developing nation education system.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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