Selahattin TURAN, and Fatih BEKTAŞ*
*Prof. Dr. Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Department of Educational Sciences, Eskisehir, Turkey.
**Dr. Atatürk University, Department of Elementary Education, Erzurum, Turkey.
Problem Statement: Creation of a common culture in educational organizations, particularly in schools, depends first on the presence and cohesiveness of an interacting group of individuals. Individual aims are more likely to turn into a shared objective in schools with a strong, participatory culture. Culture shared by all school stakeholders makes the actualization of both short- and long-term objectives easier. In this context, the leadership role of school administrator is essential to ensure that employees associate with school culture.
Purpose of the Study: The aim of this study is to determine relationship between school administrators’ leadership practices and school culture.
Methods: This study has a correlational design to determine relationship between school administrators’ leadership practices and school culture according to the perceptions of teachers in primary education. A total of 349 teachers serving in 15 primary schools were selected through a maximum diversity method. ‘Leadership Practices Inventory’ and ‘School Culture Inventory’ were administered to these teachers.
Findings and Results: Positive and significant relationships were found between the scores of school culture and leadership practices of teachers in primary education. Based on the significant relationships observed, according to multivariate linear regression analysis results performed to evaluate the prediction power of leadership practices on school culture, sub-dimensions of leadership practices (guidance, creating a vision, questioning the process, encouraging personnel and encouraging audience) collectively explained 28% of the variance of school culture scores.
Conclusions and Recommendations: School culture can be used by school administrators as a tool to influence and direct other people or to establish coordination among employees. Beyond being representatives of school bureaucracy, administrators should be cultural and moral guides who pioneer the creation and development of fundamental values in school. Based on the findings of the study, it is important to improve and enhance the job definition and areas of work of school administrators. Arrangements can be made to allow school administrators to take initiative towards improving their own schools. This may strengthen the guiding role of school administrators. We suggest that future studies consider a qualitative investigation of exemplary school culture and leadership practices.
Key words: Leadership practices, school culture, teacher, primary education.