Examining the Relationship between Principal Cultural Proficiency and Leadership Behaviors



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The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine the relationship between principal cultural proficiency and leadership behaviors through a culturally responsive leadership framework. A total of 166 school principals from a service region of Southeastern Texas were solicited and completed the Educator Cultural Proficiency Insight Tool (ECPIT) and the Successful School Leadership Survey (SSLS). The research questions focused on four factors of cultural proficiency: (a) cultural awareness and diversity, (b) attitudes, beliefs, and expectations of student learning, (c) ownership and responsibility, and (d) recognition of racism predicting each of the four domains of leadership behaviors: (a) setting directions, (b) developing people, (c) redesigning the organization, and (d) improving the instructional program. The researcher used multiple linear regression, frequencies, and percentages to analyze the data collected and the findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between cultural proficiency and the four leadership behaviors examined. The study's results align with previous research that has demonstrated the importance of principals having a clear vision for a school, being child-focused, and having high expectations for students. Additionally, the research found a connection between empathy for diverse students and listening to all voices. The study also revealed that principals who recognized the presence of racism in their schools were more likely to engage in organizational redesign efforts. Finally, the research suggested that principals who took ownership and responsibility for student learning outcomes were more effective at improving the instructional program. The study highlights the importance of cultural proficiency as a predictor of effective leadership behaviors and needed support for schools to foster a culture that celebrates a student-centered focus in learning. The findings provide insights into the importance of principals' attitudes, beliefs, and expectations of student learning, their ownership and responsibility, and their recognition of racism in fostering a school culture that supports reaching a common goal, and building capacity in staff, managing changes in the organization, and improving instruction. The study provides implications and recommendations for future research in the field of culturally responsive leadership.



culturally responsive leadership, cultural proficiency, cultural responsiveness, school principal leadership behaviors