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A Study of Relationships among Teachers’ Beliefs about Learner-Centered Instruction and Teachers’ Beliefs about Principal’s Leadership Practices
AuthorConley, Lee A.
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Organizational change, specifically, moving to a Learner-Centered Model of teaching and learning, necessitates that students, teachers, and administrators work as a collaborative team for building student success (Leithwood & Riehl, 2003; Wallace Foundation, 2011). Engaging students in their own learning is necessary to promote the success of all students. This research study explored relationships among teachers’ beliefs related to a Learner-Centered Model and teachers’ beliefs about their principal’s leadership practices.Data were collected with the use of two survey instruments, the Assessment of Learner-Centered Practices Teacher Beliefs Survey (ALCP), which assess teachers’ Learner-Centered beliefs (McCombs & Miller, 2007) and the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), which measures the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership (Kouzes & Posner, 2013). Teachers from a low achieving middle school with a district-mandate for organizational change were asked to provide demographic information, and to complete a questionnaire regarding teachers’ learner-centered beliefs and teachers’ beliefs regarding their principal’s leadership behaviors. Over a six-year period, interventions aimed at creating a Learner-Centered Model and a positive learning environment were implemented at the school under study. Even after implementing specific best teaching practices and adjusting existing teacher practices, teachers’ beliefs regarding learners, learning, and teaching supported delivery-centeredness. Although the principal demonstrated effective and consistent leadership qualities according to teacher beliefs, these leadership practices did not support learner-centered beliefs and practices amongst teachers. There were no differences between teacher demographic groups regarding teacher’s beliefs and practices and teachers’ beliefs in their principal’s leadership practices.