Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Educational Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Janet Ledesma

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Duane Covrig


Problem and Purpose

Much research has been done in past years on the topic of student achievement, with most of those studies focusing on factors that contribute to student achievement. Little, or no research has been done, especially in the country of Zambia, that has focused on the relationship between leadership style, teacher self-efficacy, and the extent to which these constructs impact student achievement. This study explored the school principals' leadership style, teacher self-efficacy, and the extent to which these factors contribute to student achievement in Chikankata District, Zambia. The Ministry of Education in Zambia and other educators, especially those in training institutions, may use the results of this study to improve on school principals’ training and selection of school principals to maximize the impact of leadership style and teachers’ self-efficacy in student achievement.


A quantitative and non-experimental design was utilized to collect data through a survey questionnaire from 18 school principals and 211 teachers from Chikankata District. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) and the Teachers’ Self-efficacy Belief (TEBS) instruments were used to collect data. SPSS was used to analyze data. Bivariate descriptive, independent samples t-tests, canonical correlation, and descriptive discriminant function analysis were used to determine the relationship between leadership style, teacher self-efficacy, and their impact on student achievement.


The Chikankata District study showed that the school principals’ leadership style, particularly transformational and transactional, plays an essential role in influencing student achievement. Canonical correlation between teacher ratings of principal leadership styles and school performance suggests that about 9% of the variation in school performance may be accounted for by leadership styles. High-achieving schools were more likely to have high transformational leadership styles and lower transactional leadership styles, suggesting that schools where principals use higher levels of transformational leadership and lower levels of transactional leadership tend to be associated with high-achieving schools. This study, however, could not statistically establish that teacher self-efficacy played a role in the student achievement of the two sets of schools. Canonical correlation for function 1 suggested the perceived leadership styles explain about approximately 9% of the variance in teacher self-efficacy, meaning that about 9% of self-efficacy could be explained by leadership style. Not all three leadership styles explained or accounted for the 9% of self-efficacy, but rather principals with transformational and transactional leadership styles were more likely to influence teacher self-efficacy in enhancing student learning.

Conclusion and Recommendations.

The findings of the Chikankata District study suggest that those elected to school leadership as principals would enhance their ability to influence student performance if they used transformational leadership style more and lower transactional leadership. The use of the same leadership style would increase the influence on teacher self-efficacy. The Higher Education Authority and training institutions could consider including in their educational curriculum for teachers training them in transformational and transactional leadership style. District Education Board Secretaries and other personnel responsible for on-job-training programs for school leaders could include training those leaders in transformational and transactional leadership styles. Implementing these recommendations has the likelihood of increasing student achievement and teacher self-efficacy.

Subject Area

School principals--Zambia; Educational leadership; Academic achievement; Teacher effectiveness