Open access peer-reviewed chapter

The Relationship between Instructional Leadership Style, Trust and School Culture

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Hülya Şenol and Figen Yaman Lesinger

Submitted: 09 November 2017 Reviewed: 26 February 2018 Published: 19 September 2018

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.75950

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Edited by Suleyman Davut Göker

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School culture is a phenomenon that is created by students, teachers, administrators, parents, and other school staff members. It is formulated and operated by the school administrators. School culture is acquired in form of habits, beliefs, perceptions, behaviors, and norms, and influences every aspect of how a school functions, including the methods of communication and the style of leadership of the school. Organizational trust in schools may not be formulated without school culture and the stakeholders of education are the key actors, who play crucial roles at the provision of organizational trust. Quality of the communication among administrators and other stakeholders plays an important role in constructing trust in a school, increasing motivation, and creating opportunities to express the needs and expectations to each other. Different perceptions among teachers and school administrators on educational leadership may cause problems regarding the organization of the school. This may in turn become a source of organizational conflict. This chapter involves the definition of instructional leadership, general features of an instructional leader, reconceptualization of instructional leadership as distributed leadership; concept of school culture and its features; and concept of institutional trust and role of instructional leadership in constructing school culture and trust in schools.


  • instructional leadership
  • trust
  • school culture
  • education

1. Introduction

1.1. Instructional leadership

School effectiveness is the all efforts of schools to make changes to improve level of students’ achievements, and this term has been widely used since the 1960s [1]. Instructional leadership is a term which has been used after the work of Edmonds [2], Bossert et al. [3], Hawley and Rosenholtz [4], and Purkey and Smith [5] on effective schools in the United States and has been accepted as a core element of school leadership [6]. Researchers of effective school movement during the 1980s compared effective schools with ineffective ones regardless of socioeconomic status and family background of their students. This body of research had drawn attention of policymakers and scholars that instructional leadership of the principals, who focus highly on teaching and learning, is needed for school effectiveness. According to Lezotte [7], the principal as an instructional leader communicates the mission to the staff, students and parents in an effective school, and the principal as a coach, a partner and a cheerleader will have to develop his/her skills. Lezotte [7] proposed seven correlates of effective schools as follows:

  1. Instructional leadership

  2. Mission which is clear and focused

  3. Environment which is safe and orderly

  4. Climate with high expectations for success

  5. Frequent tracking of student progress

  6. Home-school relations which are positive

  7. Student time on task and opportunity to learn

During the 1980s, many models of instructional leadership were introduced by the researchers. Researchers have used the model proposed by Hallinger and Murphy [8] most frequently in their research about instructional leadership. This model proposes three dimensions of instructional management and ten instructional leadership functions as follows:

Dimension 1: School mission is defined:

  1. School goals are framed clearly.

  2. School goals are communicated clearly.

Dimension 2: Instructional program is managed:

  1. Instruction is supervised and evaluated.

  2. Curriculum is coordinated.

  3. Student progress is monitored.

Dimension 3: Positive school climate is created:

  1. Instructional time is protected.

  2. Professional development is promoted.

  3. High visibility is maintained.

  4. Incentives for teachers are provided.

  5. Incentives for learning are provided.

Dimension 1 proposes that academic goals of the schools should be clear as they are discussed and reviewed with staff regularly. These goals have to be supported and incorporated into daily life by the staff. Principals should communicate the school goals to teachers, students and parents through the formal communication channels such as the school handbook and assemblies or informal ones such as parent and teacher conferences [6]. Mission is a body of goals determined for bringing vision to life. Schools should have certain goals. The basic mission of the school is to ensure that the environment needed to deliver high-quality education to students is created. There may be different viewpoints among teachers as regards the mission of the school; thus, the instructional leader is responsible for developing a shared mission based on stronger values. School principals may create an effective public relations system so as to announce the school objectives to the stakeholders as public relations is related to providing an effective communication channel through which the target audience can be notified about institutional objectives especially academic ones, of the school and developed expectations for education, student, teacher and academic success. Defining a good school vision and assertive mission is not sufficient alone. Goals of the school must be put into life by planning and reviewed constantly depending on changing and developing conditions and redefined when necessary so that they are up to date.

Dimension 2 requires principles to have high knowledge in the school’s instructional program, commitment for the improvement of school and expertise in teaching and learning so that the principal can coordinate and control academic program of the school [6]. Ensuring coordination between curriculum and activities in school is one of the important roles of a school principal. The purpose of inspection in schools is to increase the effectiveness of all school activities and to obtain high-quality education. Inspection applied by school principals includes focusing on teaching-learning processes. Ensuring the goals of their school are translated into classroom activities is the main task of the school principals. Teaching can be monitored in classroom through semi-official classroom inspections, then concrete feedback can be given to teachers on certain classroom activities, and it is ensured that they reach the desired level. A school principal who aims the development of education-teaching and teachers in the school are obliged to inspect and evaluate what happens at the school. The evaluation must not be with the purpose of scaring but inspiring. The working environment and trust must be established so that teachers will not feel any fear at the time of evaluation. In order to ensure that teachers perform their roles better, he/she acts with them, leads them, inspires them for self-development and keeps their motivation high. The purpose of course inspection is to obtain direct information about student success and ensure that the missing points are corrected, provide feedback to the course teacher about the negative aspects and encourage them in developing the positive aspects, which is a milestone in the road to success [9]. The school principal can discuss the test results with the staff and provide them with interpretive analyses so that student weaknesses can be diagnosed and results of changes that were made in the school’s instructional program can be evaluated [6]. The school principal should create an evaluation system which appraises the academic success of students with the purpose of rewarding success and improvement displayed by students [10].

Dimension 3 proposes that if high standards, expectations and culture of continuous learning and improvement are developed, an academic press can be created by the schools [6]. Time planning is one of the most important elements at school. The opening, closing, holiday and resting times, class hours and breaks of a school are elements that interest the time dimension of teaching. The activity periods at school have to be determined according to priorities and effectively planned; it is also necessary that the school principal has a special time plan and has time management skills. Attention must be paid to ensure that teaching time is used for teaching and implementing new skills and concepts and it is not interrupted. This can be monitored and evaluated by school principals through regular classroom visits and enforced with school policies. The top priority of school principals is to provide the environment needed for supporting the professional development of teachers related to school goals so that they can:

  • Ensure participation of teachers in several in-service training activities

  • Organize seminars, conferences, workshops, etc., for improvement of teachers in the school

  • Inform teachers on all kinds of education opportunities outside the institution

When the school principal observes classrooms, strolls in the building regularly and participates in personal development activities actively, teachers and students perceive the manager as a visible being. This also strengthens communication between stakeholders of education. An effective leader should value the success of both teachers and students. If they know that they will be rewarded due to a superior performance, they will be highly motivated to succeed better. Many researchers defined the characteristics of instructional leaders and their roles in effective schools [3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26] as follows:

  • Assertive

  • Self-confident

  • Strong disciplinarians

  • Calm

  • Decisive

  • Persuasive

  • Resists against hindrances

  • Keeps high motivation for success

  • Takes risks

  • Strong

  • Directive leader

  • Not strictly bureaucratic

  • Adopts democracy

  • Good communicators

  • Good role models

  • Orients strong results

  • Has power of purpose

  • Encourages other members of the school to be involved in decision-making

  • Systematically monitors student progress

  • Has high visibility during supervision

  • Visits classes

  • Observes teaching and then responds to those observations

  • Experts in curricular development

  • Experts in teaching

  • Develops a common sense of vision among all members of the school

  • Evaluates the achievement of basic objectives

  • Focuses on building school culture

  • Focuses on academic press

  • Focuses on high expectations for student achievement

  • Perceived as the person of a difficult work who pays effort to learn

  • Performs lifelong learning, pioneers his/her environment for their learning

  • Shows high level of performance

  • Communicates easily and dynamically sets targets

  • Has detailed information about teaching planning and learning theories

  • Aware of the problems in the class

  • Able to determine pedagogical objectives themselves

  • Sets balance between their behaviors and values at school and in social life

  • Supports empowerment and controlling for sustainability

  • Prefers changing by risk-taking to sticking with the status quo and innovation to stability

  • Individuals who execute education-teaching activities recruiting their power from expertise

  • Able to create an organizational culture

  • Manifests coherent education philosophy


2. Reconceptualization of instructional leadership: distributed leadership

Until the 1990s, researchers focused on school principals as leaders who frame goals of the schools, maintain great expectations for teachers and students, promote development of teachers, supervise instruction, coordinate curriculum, monitor progress of the students and develop school program as an expert [27]. Researchers have put a great emphasis on the leadership skills of principals in effective schools since the end of the 1970s, and they have considered that these skills are one of the main factors of school effectiveness [25]. Democratic and also participative organization of schools conflicted with the hierarchic position of instructional leadership in the late 1980s during effective school restructuring movement which aimed to empower teachers accepted as professional educators (Marks and Louis 1997 as cited in [21]). Because of the limitations of instructional model focused on principals, attention was switched to transformational leadership and subsequently to distributed leadership [28].

Increase in responsibilities and accountability of school leadership created the need for leadership distribution in schools. Hall and Hord [29] did a research related to fruitful change in schools and concluded that it is impossible for school principals to do it alone. This means that teaching cannot be improved by only school principal, and this work should be distributed across the school leaders [30, 31]. Then school leadership was reconceptualized as distributed leadership [32]. Distributed leadership is a collective action that can be exercised by the school principal, their assistants, heads of departments, teacher leaders and other members who aim the improvement of school [33, 34, 35, 36, 37]. Hargreaves and Goodson [38] note that distributed leadership is not an end in itself; it is distributed among instructional leaders. Instructional leaders share the responsibility of supervision of instruction, staff and curricular development.

During the 1990s, consideration of the role of teachers as leaders increased [39]. Principals have more chance to spend time in the classrooms of small primary schools to monitor teaching, but they may need teacher leaders or heads of departments to engage in curriculum in large secondary schools [40]. Youngs and King [41] stress that principals may build the capacity of school with the aid of teacher leaders. According to results of the studies done by Marks and Printy [21], schools become high-performing organizations when teachers share the instructional leadership with school principals. In this frame, it was defined who the teacher leaders are and what they do. Department chairs, curriculum managers, coaches, specialists, professional development coordinators, consultants, mentor teachers, resource teachers and demonstration teachers can be teacher leaders. Some of the teacher leaders can focus on different subjects or different grades, or they may focus on only one subject or one grade level [42]. Many of the teacher leaders may have full-time leadership role out of their classes, or some may take responsibility both as teacher and part-time leader [43]. Roles of teacher leaders for improvement of instruction and enhancing student learning are identified by researchers as follows:

  • Promoting school vision

  • Accepting school goals

  • Strengthening school culture [44]

  • Conducting workshops for professional development

  • Co-planning and modeling lessons

  • Observing teaching and providing feedback

  • Collecting and analyzing data

  • Facilitating dialog

  • Giving reflective critique

  • Promoting shared practices among teachers [45]

Peer coaching idea was first explored by Showers and Joyce [46]. They suggested that teachers should coach each other in complimentary ways. Coaching is a class-based support given by qualified, knowledgeable individuals to teachers and coaches to explore the ways on how to increase teaching practices of the teachers by using their own students [47]. Applications of coaching differ both within and between schools [48]. Coaches may focus one subject or grade or may work across grades or schools like teacher leaders, and they can be teacher leaders who coach in addition to classroom teaching, or they can be from outside the school [49]. Roles of peer coaches were identified by the researchers as follows:

  • Focusing on the needs of teachers [50]

  • Helping teachers plan and organize teaching lessons

  • Managing activities

  • Demonstrating lessons

  • Organizing materials

  • Analyzing data

  • Providing professional development [51, 52]

  • Supporting whole-school reform

  • Building school capacity [52]

Teachers believe that coaches are not useful if they spent more time on management and administrative duties than their needs [51]. Based on the results of studies, it was noted that the quality of teachers’ instructional practices for class discussions improved [53] and also student achievement increased with coaching program [33, 54, 55].


3. School culture

3.1. The concept of school culture and its features

Various and numerous definitions have been made regarding organizational culture. According to Schwartz and Davis [56], organizational culture is the whole of beliefs and expectations shared by members of the organization and the norms that shape the behaviors of groups and individuals in the organization. Some of the scientists who are interested in the concept treat the organization’s culture as a set of widely shared beliefs about how people behave at work and the values that make it possible to distinguish which goals and tasks are important [57].

According to another point of view in the literature, organizational culture is the common beliefs and values that develop over time in an organization [58]. Hellriegel and Slocum [59] describe an organization’s culture as a complicated structure that is composed of beliefs, ideas, expectations, attitudes, behaviors and values shared by members of the organization. Organizations are social systems. The most important elements of this social system are the people. These people, who make organizations dynamic, come to life with their knowledge, manners and beliefs, or briefly “culture,” which they surround. Organizations are made up of people with different cultures. Social gaze, beliefs, rewards or punishment expectations, flexibility and fatalistic beliefs, that is, social expectations, which are shaped in the culture in which humans are located, cause them to look at the same phenomenon in the same context [60]. These people have come together with a number of professional criteria, and as a natural consequence of being a group, they have formed a system of beliefs and values that are relatively different from other organizations but within themselves. This system is “organization culture.” School culture can change in time in order to obtain higher student achievement as the profiles enrolling at the school vary from one year to the other and a school should adapt itself to them [61].

In order to be able to compete in a constantly changing environment, the organization must adapt itself to this change, continually learn and practice what they learn [62]. Every organization should demonstrate value-based management. In other words, according to the development of events, there should be a set of values and decisions in the face of developing situations that do not take daily decisions [63].

3.2. Formation of school culture

Even though the definition of culture is difficult to measure and it causes some concerns, organizational culture offers a variety of benefits to its leader and organizational members [64, 65]. Organizational culture contributes to the organizational leadership in working more effectively and harmoniously with the organizational leader, as well as by providing regular procedures for the strategy and methods of putting the work into practice. Organizational culture leads to the emergence of new leaders who are identical in qualities to individuals who work within it and of its members. It provides a solid relationship between the individuals working in organizational culture and benefits such as contributing to the formation of cooperative working teams.

In their research, Kowalski et al. [66] stated that one of the most important elements of school cultures is sharing. According to Robbins [67], management refers to one of the functions of communication as providing sharing. As for Senge [68], communication manager has been included in the factors that make a leader. In the organizations, it is possible to produce, share, interpret and understand the meaning of organizational communication in the processes of management functions such as effective coordination of managers [69, 70]. In this context, it can be said that there is an important share of communication in the formation of organizational culture, which is expressed as organizational integration and assumptions leading to external compatibility [65, 67]. The creation and strengthening of school culture are seen as a fundamental necessity for supporting and sustaining success in school [71].

Finnan [72] notes that school culture is not a static element but is constantly being built and shaped through reflection and interactions between individuals.

3.3. Elements of school culture

School culture gives a sense of formal identity and draws a way for organizational processes through organizations, legends, rituals, meanings, values and norms [73].

  1. Values: The values and actions of individuals in the organization are measured and evaluated. Values are wider and tighter when compared to norms. To legitimize norms, they must originate from cultural values [74].

  2. Beliefs: According to Schein [75], beliefs direct the behaviors of members of an organization by telling them how they should think and feel. The more beliefs are similar and shared by people, the more they become settled and distinct in the culture. Reaching the goals will be easier when beliefs are internalized in an organization [75].

  3. Norms: Norms are invisible elements. If organizations want to improve the performance and increase the profitability of their employees, the first element they need to focus on is norms [76].

  4. Heroes: Heroes are important people who make organization culture or adopt organization culture. At the same time, the heroes are symbolic of the organization culture. In many organizations, heroes are role models [74].

  5. Stories and tales: In relation to the organization, they are important events that members live or listen [74].

  6. Language: One of the key elements of communication is the language and, at the same time, cultivation [74].

  7. Symbols: Symbols are symbols and words in organizational culture. These include special meanings. Essential values forming the basis of the organization are expressed by symbols [74].

3.4. Dimensions of school culture

According to some researchers, several and various dimensions of school culture are determined. These dimensions are as follows:

1. Democratic management and participation

A democratic school management includes determination of representatives through elections, a transparent management philosophy, providing a free working environment to the employees, entrenching a system which allows employees and students to express themselves freely and creating a culture which adopts equality as a common value, etc., [78]. Some studies showed that the subordinates of participatory leaders have higher satisfaction than the subordinates of some rampant leader types and that an increase in participation and cooperation level also increases the level of identification of employees with their organizations; other studies indicated that there is a meaningful relation between increase in morals and efficiency and more participation and that when workers determine production targets themselves, they determined a target which is above normal levels and that they surpassed this target in a short period of time (Roethlisberger and Bavelas cited in Davis [77]), (cited in [79]). As a result, it can be thought that success is inevitable in organizations which have a democratic school culture.

2. Cooperation, support and trust

Cooperation can be defined in general terms as “a working partnership or business partnership created by individuals with same purposes and interests.” Support is the degree of help and sincerity provided by managers to their subordinates [80]. In his definition of school culture, Senge underlines the need to support the process between attitudes, values and habits. The existence of a supported professional community prevents teachers from giving in to exhaustion and empowers and motivates them (cited in [81]). There are stronger relations between education employees who enjoy an environment of trust, as a result of which they can display common stance in the face of problems and everybody can make contribution to the solution. If an environment of trust cannot be created, the relations between employees are damaged and sharing and cooperation are reduced.

3. The relation between school and environment

The most important and explicit feature of school culture is that it receives the raw material (student) that it processes from the society, subjects them to the necessary education process and gives back to the society. It is also distinguished form other organizations in that all formal and informal organizations around the school direct or influence it. The development of a child at school must be in the same direction with the sensitiveness that the family shows to education. In this sense, two advantages of cooperation between family and school can be mentioned: first, the interest shown by the family to school and student provides motivation. Second, families that are familiar to the structure, values and standards of the school can direct their children in a better way [82]. A strong connection established between school and environment will have a positive impact on school culture.

4. Integration and sense of belonging

A distinct result of a strong culture is low employee turnover rate. In a strong culture, there is a high level of agreement among members on what the organization represents. Such a unity of purpose stimulates the senses of organizational belonging of employees, as a result of which the tendencies of employees to leave the organization are reduced [80]. Integration is the psychological commitment between an individual and the organization. This situation involves not only engagement of the individual to work and commitment to the organization but also his/her beliefs about the dominant values of the organization. Members of an organization can integrate with the group and the organization as well as its objectives through some shared cultural elements. For this reason, it is essential that the manager imposes an awareness of “us” in the organization so that employees benefit organizational integration and sense of belonging. In addition, in order to create a sense of belonging and community at the school, a stable group based on long-term togetherness is needed above all. Long-term togetherness of the staff is essential in terms of integration. Frequent turnover of managers or employees has a negative impact on the development of integration. On the other hand, the feeling of being a community is related to the sense of being a community that is related to all members of the school community accepting themselves as a part of the school and integrating with the school (Alavi et al., [83]).

3.5. Features of school culture

As an organization, school is an organization which adds the behavior needed to reach preset educational objectives in a planned manner and within a certain period. It is a system operating under public surveillance where transfer of knowledge and skills is realized in a programmed and systematic manner [78].

Features of a school organization can be listed as follows:

  • The most important and explicit feature of a school is that the raw material that it processes is human who comes from and goes back to society.

  • School has some values. The task of a school is to reconcile and balance these values.

  • School is a special environment. A controlled environment is created by developing programs that will ensure the behavioral changes desired to occur in the student.

  • School is an organization which is affected by and affects the environment.

  • School is the leading organization which ensures cultural change.

  • It is an organization which teaches cultural values to students and creates change in the cultural structure of the society.

  • School has a unique culture and personality.

  • School is a bureaucratic organization [84].

3.6. The benefits of school culture

Although the definition of culture is difficult to measure and causes some concerns, organizational culture offers a variety of benefits to this organizational leader and organizational members [64, 65].

  • Organizational culture contributes to the organization’s staff to work more effectively and harmoniously with the organizational leader, as well as providing regular procedures for laying out business strategies and methods so that they can work effectively.

  • It increases commitment to the vision of the school.

  • A positive and effective school culture has many benefits such as increasing commitment to the school, developing trust toward school and the management, preventing destructive conflicts, shaping the behaviors and expectations of teachers and students at the school and increasing school success, etc., [65].

  • It increases the effectiveness and efficiency at school (such as academic success of students, performance of teachers) [85].


4. The concept of institutional trust

Trust can be shown as one of the most important factors in interpersonal relations and interaction. It has been subject to studies in the fields of organization, management and organizational behavior since the 1980s [86].

Cummings and Bromiley [87] define trust as a mutual belief between individuals or groups that they will not use the opportunities to obtain advantage by keeping the promises of a group or individual made to other group or individual. Studies on organizational trust examine trust under three main headings. These are:

  • Trust to colleagues

  • Trust to the manager

  • Trust to the organization [88, 89, 90]

According to Hosmer [91], the five characteristic features of trust are as follows:

  • Helpfulness (thinking about the wellness of others)

  • Honesty (sticking to rightness)

  • Consistency (showing similar behaviors in similar situations)

  • Openness (sharing opinions and knowledge freely)

  • Competence (being skilled)

Handy [92] stated that trust:

  • Is not blind

  • Is strict

  • Requires limits

  • Requires constant learning

  • Requires being connected

  • Requires contact

  • Has to be earned

Trust is fragile; for this reason, it is not expected to show continuity. The behaviors which develop and preserve trust can be listed as follows (Covey 2004 cited in [93]):

  • Sharing essential information about oneself

  • Accepting weaknesses and errors

  • Asking for help and using the skills and experiences of others

  • Accepting the questions and information about the scope of your irresponsibilities

  • Giving the benefit of trust to others before reaching negative conclusions

  • Being willing to be influenced

  • Taking risk in offers for feedback and help

  • Refraining from abusing others who are open to criticism

  • Spending time and energy on cooperative benefit

  • Behaving in fairness and stability

  • Keeping promises

The recommendations for repairing trust in the case that trust is reduced or breached can be listed as follows [93]:

  • Sincere apologies

  • Not allowing the affected person to affect you

  • Keeping promises

Establishment of organizational trust at schools is not an easy task. Education institutions are environments where changes in terminal behaviors are targeted and within this framework interpersonal relations are experienced in the most intense manner. Ensuring the formation of trust in education institutions can lead to developments which will affect the quality of relations with teachers, students and parents in the short term and the entire social life in the long term. School is an organization which produces services, and this service can be highly qualified only if a positive intra-organizational environment is provided. Good relations between the employees, specification of the tasks and responsibilities and also talented employees willing to show their work have critical roles in the formation of trust in the institution [94].

Trust and the reflections of trust phenomenon in organizations, meaning organizational trust, have been mentioned so far. In the end of theoretical explanation, details will be given about the reflection of trust and the phenomenon of organizational trust in the school. The place of trust phenomenon at schools is close to, if not more important than, the position of the trust phenomenon in other organizations as schools are institutions that are established to create behavioral change in individuals. Most part of school product constitutes the behavioral changes in the people that it educates. There are very few types of organizations where human element is as dominant as school. In an institution where human element is dominant, trust, which keeps people together and which is the result of relations between them, has huge importance. According to Tshanmen-Moran et al. [95], trust is necessary to achieve success at school and to establish a better environment between managers and teachers in terms of education. The five basic criteria for creating trust at school are helpfulness, trustworthiness, competence, honesty and openness. We can list the benefits that a strong organizational trust level can provide to the school as follows:

  • It lays the foundation of a broad-based development and change that will be ensured at school.

  • It gives hope to teachers about regulations and changes made at school.

  • It ensures that teachers know each other better.

  • It shows whether the works and operations at school are conducted in a healthy manner [96].

  • Trust toward colleagues and school makes teachers open to innovation and change [97].

  • A trustworthy school climate ensures that teachers think about how to provide a better learning environment [98].

According to Bryk and Schneider [99], below are the actions that can be taken to create a sustainable climate of trust at school:

  • School personnel having the competence for performing their job

  • All employees being open and honest in their relations

  • Transparency between managers and employees

Taking into consideration the development and efficiency of school, trust represents a critical point. Trust lays the foundation of performing good and effective work at schools, whereas lack thereof appears as a factor which hinders such a development. At schools where trust does not exist, detachment between teachers and students and an unhealthy climate of communication exist. At schools with low level of trust, leaders pay effort to satisfy small interest instead of working for the group and the school. When lack of trust claims the school culture, it is not possible for the school to perform efficient work. In order to assure positive change at schools, we have to create an environment of relations based on trust. For the solution of many problems faced at schools, creating a trust-based working environment is the preliminary condition [100].


5. Role of instructional leadership in constructing school culture and trust

School culture is a phenomenon that is created by students, teachers, administrators, parents and other school staff members, and it is acquired in the form of habits, beliefs, perceptions, behaviors and norms. School culture influences every aspect of how a school functions including the methods of communication and the style of leadership of the school. Organizational trust in schools may not be formulated without school culture and the stakeholders of education as principals, teachers, students and parents. Quality of the communication among leaders of education, teachers and students plays an important role in constructing trust in a school. Trust will increase the motivation and morals and improve cooperation, school culture, organizational commitment and the impact of the instructional leaders on teams. How do the instructional leaders gain trust of others? Teacher leaders can gain trust of teachers if they help them as peers not as expert supervisors and avoid to give strict feedback about the teaching activities of the teachers [45]. They have to be facilitators by pointing out the weaknesses and showing the ways to increase the effectiveness of the activities. Teacher leaders are more effective when they are supported by the principals [40]. Principals may inform the teachers about the roles and importance of teacher leaders to increase school effectiveness and may provide sufficient time for them to work together [35]. Coaching can be effective when supported by the principals [101] and the teachers [102]. Principals can explain the importance of coaching to the teachers for improving teaching [37]. The works of the instructional leaders of a school are complementary of each other so that they have to trust and support each other. In this way, leadership can contribute to improve student learning by shaping the conditions and school climate based on the school objectives which target to meet the needs of contemporary society. Different perceptions among teachers and school administrators on educational leadership may cause problems regarding the organization of the school. This may in turn become a source of organizational conflict.

Taking into consideration the impact on the shaping of school culture, weaknesses and training needs of instructional leaders to succeed in their mission can be analyzed, and education opportunities can be provided to improve their instructional leadership qualifications; then measures can be taken against the factors that restrict instructional leadership. It is necessary that school leaders are aware of the importance of instructional leadership and positive, cooperative school culture is structured and developed at schools in order to ensure the effectiveness of schools and student success. In context of distributed leadership, principals, teacher leaders, deputy heads or coaches should work together, support each other as instructional leaders to reach the goals of the school. This may happen only in a climate of trust and mutual support which becomes an integral part of school culture. So school leaders should establish trusting relationships with each other if they place priority on effective instruction, student success and school improvement.


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Written By

Hülya Şenol and Figen Yaman Lesinger

Submitted: 09 November 2017 Reviewed: 26 February 2018 Published: 19 September 2018