Building school-wide capacity for improvement: the role of leadership, school organizational conditions and teacher factors

Erik E.J. Thoonen, Peter Sleegers, Frans J. Oort, Thea T.D. Peetsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Education policies for greater accountability of schools assume that schools are capable of building their capacity for continuous improvement. While policy-makers, scholars, and practitioners acknowledge the importance of building school-wide capacity for continuous improvement, empirical evidence to this effect remains thin. In this study, we examine the extent to which school improvement capacity develops over time in a sample of elementary schools in The Netherlands. Leadership practices, school organizational conditions, teacher motivation, and teacher learning were used to measure school-wide capacity for improvement. Mixed-model analysis of longitudinal data from 1,010 teachers of 32 Dutch elementary schools showed that schools are capable of building school-wide capacity, and that sustaining a high level of capacity seemed to be more difficult. The findings suggest that improving leadership may be an important first step in the process of building school-wide capacity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-460
JournalSchool effectiveness and school improvement
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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