Investigating Leadership and Policy Implementation for School Improvement

Project Number
OER 25/14 CSK

Project Duration
March 2015 - March 2017


For policy to operationalize successfully at the ground level there must be an alignment of macro and micro planning. In the educational landscape, how the various groups of educators respond to the policy is important (either positively or negatively), and to what extent their perceptions and beliefs are aligned (or not aligned) to the goals of the policy are critical factors for educational policy to be successfully implemented. In view of this, this purposed study on Leadership and Policy Implementation for School Improvement looks at the role of leadership in policy implementation by examining different groups of Singaporean educators' perceptions of the various educational policies. It investigates the four key factors that encourage or discourage the educators from transferring policies into desired practices, and they are clarity of policy, the communication of policy, policy implementation capacity (autonomy) and work values. An interesting feature of this study is that it is part of a larger Programmatic Research Study on Leadership and School Outcomes (LSO) titled, An investigation of the Impact of Leadership Practices on Student Learning and Development Outcomes in Singapore Schools. This programmatic study involves two main stages. Stage one examines how the seven (7) broad areas of leadership practices affect teacher and organizational capacities (i.e., Teachers' perceived teaching & learning competencies (i.e., Curriculum, Pedagogy, Instruction, Assessment & Student Learning); Perceived job satisfaction; Perceived staff engagement; Perceived organizational commitment; Perceived capacity building and Perceived leadership effectiveness). Data will be collected from Principals, Vice-principals, Key Personnel (i.e., Heads of departments, subject and level heads) and Teachers. Stage two examines how leadership practices in the seven (7) areas of leadership practices affect student learning outcomes in (i) Primary 5 Mathematics and English, and (ii) Secondary 2 Mathematics and English. The measures of variables from the seven (7) areas of leadership practices obtained in the stage one four separate studies will be used as covariates or predictors for the multilevel analyses on student outcomes and Rasch analysis. Student growth performance in Mathematics and English will be measured over three time points using Rasch calibrations and test equating techniques. In addition to student learning, nonacademic related outcomes will be examined, which will be led by Dr Jonathan Goh.

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