Transitioning from textbooks to online instructional materials : a study of perceived urban principal leadership styles that impact teacher concern in using a standards-based online curriculum management program for teaching science




Whitaker, Jarrett Reid

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A number of technologies have been in use in the science classroom; however, their effects on teacher instruction and student achievement also remain under researched (Parks & Slykhuis, 2008). In addition, there is a need to study leadership styles with regard to teachers implementing the use of online resources as core instructional materials. Thus, the concern of this transition, as mandated by Texas Senate Bill 6, from using textbooks in the classroom to online instructional materials, will have a profound impact on teaching and learning in the classroom. This study looked at the types of concerns teachers exhibit when going through this transition as well as the perceived principal leadership styles that facilitate, support, or hinder these concerns.
An ex post facto, non-experimental quantitative methodology was used to conduct the study. Two valid and reliable evaluation instruments were used to gather data including Hall and Hord’s (2006) Stages of Concern Questionnaire and Burn’s (1996) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Both of these surveys were administered to the identified sample of Texas middle school science teachers using an online science curriculum program to teach the state science standards as the primary instructional resource. A regression model and analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistical model was employed to determine which specific stage of teacher concern, with regard to adoption, was significantly correlated to a principal leadership style or behavior. The findings suggest that while no significant correlation exists between a teacher’s specific stage of concern when focused on how the innovation influences one’s self or task of teaching, there is a significant correlation between perceived principal transformational leadership actions and the impact of the curriculum on team collaboration. In addition, a correlation was found between a teacher’s perceived transactional leadership style of his or her principal and the use of the online curriculum program’s effect with regard to student impact and adaptability concerns of the teacher. The outcome of the study provides a lens from which to view how different leadership styles of principals impact the way teachers relate, use, adapt, and implement new online curriculum systems as a primary resource to teach science in his or her classroom in Texas and how it directly effects student achievement.



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