A Meta-analysis of Research on the Influence of Leadership on Student Outcomes

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Virginia Tech


Despite the fact that it is accepted that the role of the principal is central to the effectiveness of the school, the extent of that relationship remains a subject of continuing debate.

Utilizing the statistical analytical approach of the meta-analysis, the study synthesized the quantitative data on the subject to determine the degree to which the level of school effectiveness reflects the influence of the school leadership. The review of the quantitative literature identified 38 studies that met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis, providing 339 effect sizes that formed the sample for the study.

The following research questions guided this study:

1.What empirical evidence is there to confirm or support the notion that there exists a relationship between leadership and school effectiveness 2.As identified in the quantitative analysis of the available research, what is the strength of the relationship between leadership and school effectiveness? 3.Based on empirical evidence, what aspects, dimensions or clusters of leadership behaviors relate to school effectiveness? 4.Related to the above, how do these dimensions compare in their relationship to school effectiveness?

The results indicated that there is a significant and positive relationship between school leadership and the level of school effectiveness, and that while all the leadership approaches yielded significant results, the instructional leadership behaviors of the principal registered the strongest relationship.



school leadership, school effectiveness, Academic achievement, instructional leadership