Road Testing Robinson et al (2009) - Does the “theory” work in practice?
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School leaders matter for school success. Recognition of the importance of school leadership has led to increased emphasis on instructional leadership, however, while broad agreement exists on the importance, there is less consensus on what aspects of instructional leadership maximise best opportunity for student learning. Several researchers in the last decade have distilled a summary of optimum leadership behaviours from research, across which there is much similarity. The most significant of these distillations is that of Robinson, Hohepa, and Lloyd (2009) who conducted the Best Evidence Synthesis (BES). This study is unique in that whilst the leadership behaviours of the BES are pre-eminent in research theory, they had not been previously tested in practice. There is abundant theory, but does the theory work in practice? Using the lens of Robinson et al. (2009) and six leadership dimensions drawn from their BES, this study across 127 schools and 1,612 teaching staff in a Catholic Education system located in Queensland used a mixed methods approach to examine the relationship between these leadership behaviours and school performance. This study identified the presence of these leadership behaviours and established a direct relationship with student outcomes. Further, this research significantly elaborates on the specific instructional leadership behaviours for school leaders to successfully enhance student learning outcomes and identifies contemporary specific actions school leaders may employ to maximise student learning through teacher efficacy. This research indicates the instructional leadership dimensions, drawn from Robinson et al.’s (2009) BES meta-analysis of direct evidence from 27 international quantitative studies, are applicable within the Australian Catholic context despite no Australian instructional leadership studies being included in that analysis.
Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Doctor of Education (EdD)
School of Education and Professional Studies
Item Access Status
Student learning outcomes
Best Evidence Synthesis (BES)