Exploring and modelling effective leadership practices that contribute to student achievement and culturally responsive schools
School leadership has a profound impact in the quality of education that students receive. Low student achievement, and especially the Indigenous student achievement gaps, are very much needing to be addressed and could be mitigated through shifts in leadership practices. No recent studies have explored the niche educational landscape and challenges that are in Northern British Columbia. With high teacher turnover and low Indigenous student achievement, further research was drastically needed
... identify what leadership practices should be used in schools, and what types of leaders are needed to properly exemplify these practices. This study involved the qualitative analysis of scholarly articles pertaining to educational leadership and promoting student achievement and positive change. The research identified four key areas that paint a better picture of what schools and their leaders should look like in a culturally responsive world: the descriptors of an effective school setting, the roles of an effective school principal, the characteristics of an effective leader, and the undesired characteristics of schools and their leaders. The research identified that effective school settings possess environments where there are specific educational and professional standards, where students are the focus and community building is a priority, and where the atmosphere reflects cultural safety. Effective school leaders were found to provide a quality education, lead positive change, complete administrative and management tasks, take on proactive and intentional planning, and establish community-wide connections with their school. In regard to the types of leaders that should be at the helm of our schools, effective leaders exhibit a leadership persona, possess individual personality traits that make them suitable to lead, and have a strong professional reputation. Lastly, it was important to identify the undesired characteristics of schools and their leaders so that professionals were aware of not only the good iii practices, but the components that they must avoid. The schools that are not conducive to learning possess poor working and learning conditions, ineffective leadership, a lack of school progress, and a lack of cultural safety.