Sample Literature Review Paper on School Leadership

Review of Literature: School Leadership


More and more countries are using various methods to evaluate and analyze their students, educators, administrators, and educational institutions. These are used to comprehend better the extent to which students are learning, to educate parents and the public about the quality of education, and to enhance the effectiveness of school administration, classroom instruction, and supervision. Over the last 15 years, educational leaders throughout the globe have made a concerted, sustained effort to improve education by making schools more publicly responsible for raising student achievement on standardized exams. There is now much demand on school administrators and those who research them to provide evidence that their efforts have contributed to improving student achievement as a direct result of this policy change. This paper provides a literature review of the various perspectives on school leadership. Articles by different authors are analyzed and the results of their findings discussed.

Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice.,+P.+G.+ (2012).+Leadership:+Theory+and+practice.+SAGE+Publications+Ltd&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart


Leadership theories and their applications to real-world scenarios are discussed in this article. Northouse (2012) argues that while there are numerous definitions of leadership, they all boil down to the same thing: a two-way exchange between a leader and subordinates. Leaders affect their followers. Leadership is never an individual act but rather something that develops and grows throughout a community. Leadership is about getting people to work together toward a common objective.

Due to their position as the school’s highest-ranking administrators, school leaders significantly impact both teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Once responsible for overseeing teachers and extracurricular activities, principals now serve in a more intellectual leadership capacity, shifting the focus from management to the leadership styles and effects of the school’s bigwigs. In today’s schools, principals are responsible for much more than just running the institution’s day-to-day operations. They must also devise long-term strategies to boost student achievement, boost teacher output, maintain morale, and prevent staff members from leaving. Therefore, Northouse (2012) argued that principals’ leadership styles strongly affect teachers’ attitudes about their work, their dedication to the school’s mission, and students’ academic outcomes.

Researchers have spent much time thinking about how school leaders may best inspire their staff and boost academic achievement. It has been argued that it is the duty of school administrators to make available to teachers cutting-edge educational technologies that may be used to improve their students’ educational experiences. Consequently, the instructional leadership of school administrators will indirectly impact classroom instruction and the success with which they disseminate new approaches to teaching to their staff.

Short, P., Rinehart, J. S., & Eckley, M. (1999). The Relationship of Teacher Empowerment and School Leaders’ Leadership Orientation. Educational Research Quarterly, 22(4), 45.


The article argues that empowering educators is essential to successful school reform. The principal’s leadership has a crucial role in improving teaching conditions. Principals’ perspectives about organizations, and the associated leadership styles, have a substantial influence on teachers’ feelings of autonomy in the classroom.

Short, Rinehart, and Eckley (1999) found that when school leaders exhibit suitable leadership styles, including keeping teachers involved in decision-making and fostering a collaborative, professional environment based on trust and respect, teachers report feeling more confident and empowered in their roles. The Transformational Leadership style of school leaders may improve the teachers’ work happiness, organizational commitment, and job performance. Teachers are more invested in their work and more committed to student success when school administrators use the Transformational Leadership style by delegating sufficient authority to them and encouraging them to shape the school’s culture actively.

Both the school’s climate and culture contribute to a healthy working environment and high levels of employee satisfaction; however, the latter focuses more on the values and conventions of the school, while the former focuses on the actions of its members (administrators, teachers, and students). The leader is primarily responsible for establishing the school’s climate, and a disciplinary school climate benefits the learning environment, resulting in less disturbance for instructors and students. Past research has also shown that a supportive school environment is associated with various favorable outcomes, including improved teaching and learning and reduced absenteeism. Thus, a healthy school atmosphere affects teachers’ motivation and work satisfaction, instructors’ performance, and kids’ performance, and creating an excellent school climate relies on the leadership style of school administrators.

Hallinan, M. T. (2008). Teacher Influences on Students’ Attachment to School. Sociology of Education, 81(3), 271–283. Retrieved from


Within the context of leadership, this article explores a teacher’s impact on their students. Instructors may significantly impact whether or not kids like going to school because they perform a unique role in relation to the pupils in their classroom and because they generate a variety of learning opportunities for the pupils. Therefore, a teacher’s leadership ultimately forms the basis of a student’s perspective. Hallinan (2008) employed both cross-sectional and longitudinal study methods for students in the sixth, eighth, and tenth grades in investigating the impact that instructors have on their pupils’ attitudes about their educational experiences. According to the study’s findings, the student’s perceptions of their professors are a significant factor in how they feel about their education overall. Students who have the impression that their teachers respect and care about them are more likely to have a positive attitude toward their educational environment, have higher levels of academic success, exhibit fewer instances of disruptive behavior, miss fewer days of class, and have lower rates of dropping out of school.

The instructors in the classroom use teaching methods that are motivating to encourage and maintain the students’ engagement in the classroom as well as their connection to the institution. The many techniques employed in the classroom were the instructors’ classroom behaviors, a collaborative and supportive classroom atmosphere, an appropriate selection of teaching and learning activities, and the method by which feedback was provided to the students (Astuti, 2016). Accordingly, the results of this research made it abundantly evident that the most significant factor in students’ academic success, as well as their levels of enthusiasm and commitment to their educational environment, is the instructors. Therefore, the leadership of instructors is of the utmost importance in influencing students’ learning experiences, and school leaders are the source of inspiration and motivation for these teachers.

Sun, J., & Leithwood, K. (2015). Leadership Effects on Student Learning Mediated by Teacher Emotions. Societies, 5(3), 566–582. DOI: 10.3390/ soc5030566.


Studies conducted by Sun and Leithwood (2015), cited in the article, suggest that principals may influence student performance in a roundabout way. Leaders’ emotional investment in their instructors directly impacts the quality of instruction and student achievement. The findings of this study indicated that school leaders could improve teachers’ organizational behaviors by, among other things, encouraging teachers to try new things and giving them autonomy over important pedagogical decisions, establishing a consistent mentoring program, relieving teachers of unnecessary administrative duties so they can focus on their students. Helping educators acquire the knowledge and abilities they need to do their jobs well. The leadership style of the school’s administration may be inferred to have an indirect influence on students’ achievement because of the teacher’s classroom conduct, which in turn affects students’ achievement directly.

The success or failure of the school dramatically influences the administration, professors, and parents of the school’s constituents. This is true regardless of whether the school is successful or not. We look at the level of student learning, the quality of the teachers, the level of safety in the schools, and the level of parental participation to assess how effectively the parent-centered approach to education is functioning. There was an undeniable connection between the parents’ estimations of the caliber of the teaching staff and their plans to continue sending their children to the same institution of higher education. The school’s culture, which takes into account aspects such as the administration and the leadership style, is one of the elements that help determine whether high-quality teachers remain employed there.

Day et al.’s (2016) The Impact of Leadership on Student Outcomes: How Successful School Leaders Use Transformational and Instructional Strategies to Make a Difference


Robust validation of the momentum and direction of the expanding research base in this area of leadership is provided by the results summarized by Day et al. (2016). This study adds to the data showing how effective principals may combine transformational and instructional leadership tactics to achieve and maintain change over time. The results show that schools’ abilities to improve and sustain effectiveness over the long term are not primarily the result of the principals’ leadership style but of their understanding and diagnosis of the school’s needs and the application of clearly articulated, organizationally shared educational values through multiple combinations and accumulations of time and context-sensitive strategies that are “layered” and progressively embedded in the school’s work, culture, and instructional practices.

Educational leaders impact student achievement by reshaping the school’s primary objective and ensuring that the institution’s structures and values are in harmony with the mission. As a result, efforts to improve classroom education will likely increase (instructional leadership). The settings, institutions, traditions, connections, expectations, and ‘norms’ that make up the cultures of schools provide a glimpse into how influence is exerted positively or adversely over time and how its effects are viewed and quantified in terms of students’ academic progress. Principals used both “transformational” and “instructional” leadership in thriving and developing schools. Influential leaders in various settings are aware of the importance of context and adapt their methods accordingly. It indicates that they are adept at adapting their leadership styles to different situations. Rather than being dictated by the environments in which they operate, leaders show their responsiveness by implementing these leadership principles. Thus, success is established via the synergistic impacts of many tactics connected to the administrators’ judgments about what works in their specific school setting.





Day et al.’s (2016) The Impact of Leadership on Student Outcomes: How Successful School Leaders Use Transformational and Instructional Strategies to Make a Difference

Hallinan, M. T. (2008). Teacher Influences on Students’ Attachment to School. Sociology of Education, 81(3), 271–283. Retrieved from

Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice. SAGE Publications Ltd.,+P.+G.+(2012).+Leadership:+Theory+and+practice.+SAGE+Publications+Ltd&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart

Sun, J., & Leithwood, K. (2015). Leadership Effects on Student Learning Mediated by Teacher Emotions. Societies, 5(3), 566–582. DOI: 10.3390/ soc5030566.

Short, P., Rinehart, J. S., & Eckley, M. (1999). The Relationship of Teacher Empowerment and School Leaders’ Leadership Orientation. Educational Research Quarterly, 22(4), 45.