A Multilevel Exploratory Study of the Relationship Between Teachers' Perceptions of Principals' Instructional Support and Group Norms for Instruction in Elementary Schools

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Goddard, Yvonne L.
Neumerski, Christine M.
Goddard, Roger D.
Salloum, Serena J.
Berebitsky, Daniel
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At a time when educators and policy makers are focused on improving outcomes for all children, we believe it is essential to understand better the ways in which principals may influence instructional norms in their schools. Our literature review led us to believe that a combination of leadership approaches is important for supporting teachers' use of differentiated instruction schoolwide to meet their students' diverse needs. Therefore, we examined whether principals' instructional support predicts differences among schools in group norms for the use of differentiated instruction. Data were drawn from a stratified random sample of a Midwestern state's noncharter public elementary schools. Hierarchical linear modeling results of surveys from 616 teachers in 77 schools revealed a positive and statistically significant relationship between these two constructs. In addition to presenting these findings, we discuss their importance and the need for further research in this area.