Servant Leadership and its Impact on Classroom Climate and Student Achievement

Servant Leadership and its Impact on Classroom Climate and Student Achievement






Literature Review

Leadership and accountability has a crucial role to play in education. George W. Bush considered accountability as a core basis for educational policies. However, enacting laws alone cannot entirely lead to the desired results. In this regard, there have been necessity for all district schools to show minimum level of growth in students’ achievements through demonstrating Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). This is done so that the students can be well prepared for universities and adult careers. However, the World Education ranking in 2010 rated U.S as average and thus, it was a wakeup call for the leaders to put more efforts in educational sector. Consequently, the U.S Federal School provided $534 grants to enable poor schools to have improvements and also facilitating post-secondary student preparation. This is not only a problem for United States schools only but also in other industrialized nations. Therefore, there have emergence of several organizations to address these challenges, for example, Teachers college to improve leadership in school environment so as to enhance student achievement. In 2007, National Comprehensive Centre for Teacher Quality gave a report stating that teacher leadership is very critical in ensuring students achievement and effective schools. Therefore, student teacher-student relationship is very important for the learning of the student.

Similarly, the institutional culture and the climate has a correlation. Therefore, it is also important to look at the organization culture in the educational sector. In this regard, learning effectiveness can be increased through changing teacher-student paradigms. This culture is evident in daily behaviors of students that determines organizational climate. Lastly, the behavior of the teacher is important in creating classroom climate which will in turn improve student achievement (Cohen & Brown, 2013)

Variables under Study

In this study, the servant leadership and classroom climate are being considered as predictor variables. On the other hand student achievement was considered as criterion variable. There are various styles of leadership that determined wider range of organizational climates, identification of the appropriate combination of leadership and classroom climate will improve students’ achievement and motivation. The use of correct variables (servant leadership, classroom climate and student achievement) will be important in providing appropriate data that will be used in identification of the possible correlations. Therefore, this research was designed in order to help in the correlation of variables of servant leadership and organizational climate to explain student achievement. Further, it tried to analyze servant leadership behaviors with classroom climate and student achievement. In this regard, servant leadership and school climate determines student achievement.

Integrity is considered as a variable under the servant of leadership (Wong & Page, 2003). It is almost impossible for leaders to carry out their operations is they lack integrity. In this regard, leaders who demonstrate high levels of integrity can be able to improve organizational behavior and act as role models to the community. Other benefits that comes when someone has integrity includes trust, persuasion and stewardship as well commitment to the development of the community. Therefore, servant leadership includes integrity as key variable. However, they do not put the term integrity into use, they consider its importance.

Problem statement

The magnitude of relationship that existed between teachers, servant leadership behaviors and classroom climate and student achievement at the university level was not possible to know. This study looked at the relationship that exist between leadership, classroom climate and students achievement. A quantitative study conducted on 31 secondary head teachers’ demonstrated that servant leadership characteristics has an impact on the school climate. There is also relationships between head teachers servant leadership, school climate and the student achievement in the 62 elementary schools. Nevertheless, there is a significant relationship between servant leadership characteristics and students outcomes.

The US World Education Ranking currently suggests that the traditional structures and practices are becoming obsolete and thus, it is important call for US to put more efforts to improve education. One recommendation is that educational leaders should focus on the classroom climate that is being created by the teachers. Therefore, this study intends to improve student learning environment so that there can be improvement in students’ achievement. This will be determined at the end of the course they were undertaking (Oliviera, 2012)

In higher education, the federal rules does not apply and thus the students can attend classes at their own will. This imply that they are voluntarily seeking education. They are normally considered as adults and thus, expected to make informed decisions. Therefore, this has resulted into in differences between student’s achievement and motivations. This research attempted to focus on correlations at the classroom level in the colleges. Therefore, understanding this phenomenon is very important. Furthermore, there can be amendments to the current teaching practices so that to ensure improvement in students achievement. Therefore, there should be an established link between servant leadership to classroom climate and students achievement in higher education.

Quantitative Design

This research was quantitative and it was to measure and correlate classroom dimensions. In this regard, mean values for servant leadership, student achievement and classroom climate were employed in supporting study hypothesis. Previous studies examined more complicated relationships which is contrary to the current variables which are linear. In this regard, it is important to consider the differences in instruments other than differences in the measurements themselves.

The foundational theories for this study are servant leadership as well as organizational climate which were developed by Greenleaf and Stringer. They were employed in the study of transformational follower development and unifying values in an organization to determine behavior. This correctional study did not dispute the existed theories but identified magnitude of correlation that exists in the variables. Therefore, there was consistency with quantitative and correctional research study.

The SLP-R and CUCEI surveys were used in obtaining numerical scale scores that was in the determination of correlation that exists between servant leadership in the classroom and the classroom climate. Therefore, there was a correlation between the results obtained and the achievement of the students as determined at the end of the course period. Teachers’ servant leadership behavior and classroom climate were considered as predictor variables. On the other hand, criterion variable was student achievement which was the grade obtained by the student. The unit analysis of the research was conducted in the class.

Appropriateness of the instruments

The desired data was provided by instruments that show teacher servant leadership, classroom climate and student achievement. In this regard, there are instruments that has been used for conducting surveys for servant leadership as well as classroom climate i.e. SLP-R and CUCEI. Lastly, at the end of the semester, the students’ grade will be collected though there is no standardized test that can be used in measuring achievement of student.

SLP-R was used in measuring the servant leadership and the mechanism it can use to achieve positive outcomes. The SLP-R used ensured that there is validity of the data obtained. In this regard, the instruments was used for its intended purpose. The SLP-R measured what servant leadership and how it achieves positive results. In this regard, it analyzed six dimensions of servant leadership for example, character orientation, task orientation, people orientation, egoistic pride and power abuse. On the other hand CUECEI was used in assessing seven dimension of classroom for example personalization, individualization, innovation, satisfaction, cohesiveness of students, orientations of tasks, involvement of students and students satisfaction. In all the scenarios, the instruments measures the appropriate aspects of servant leadership as well as classroom climate. These two instruments are also appropriate in ensuring the reliability of the data being collected. This can be described as the degree to which the results obtained by a measurement procedure can be replicated. In this regard, the two instruments employed gives a reliability scores between 0.85 and 0.96 which can be considered as a high internal reliability (Dennis & Winston, 2003)

Problem statement

This study had a main purpose of investigating the magnitude of relationship that exist between servant leadership, classroom climate and achievements of students in a university of Northwest Pennsylvania. In this regard, servant leadership and classroom climate were important predictor variables and the student achievement was considered as criterion variable. Generally, various leadership styles are important determinants of organizational climate. Hence, it is important to identify proper leadership combination and classroom climate so as to ensure motivation and achievement of the students (Mitchell & Bradshaw, 2013).

Furthermore, this study was to address some shortcomings in education. The present education practices have not yielded proper student achievement. Therefore, one action that will be used is creating a conducive learning environment for students. This is due to the reason that leaders in classroom have a responsibility to create a classroom that is conducive for students in order to facilitate learning.

Although there have been more efforts to ensure that there is professional development for primary and secondary students, university teachers are always being chosen according to their area of expertise. In this regard, the findings of this study will be important in in supporting the present practices of teacher pedagogies at the university level. Furthermore, this study will encourage future researchers to carry out researches that will examine the development of university professors in leadership and pedagogy areas. This will be done together with the area which they expertise (Norton, 2013)


Cohen, J., & Brown, P. (2013). School climate and adult learning. School ClimatePractices for Implementation and Sustainability, 52.

Dennis, R., & Winston, B. E. (2003). A factor analysis of Page and Wong’s servant leadership instrument. Leadership & Organization Development Journal24(8), 455–459.

Mitchell, M. M., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2013). Examining classroom influences on student perceptions of school climate: The role of classroom management and exclusionary discipline strategies. Journal of School Psychology 51(5).

Norton, A. (2013). Taking university teaching seriously. Grattan Institute Report2013(8).

Oliveira, M. A.-Y., & Ferreira, J. J. P. (2012). How interoperability fosters innovation: The case for servant leadership. African Journal of Business Management6(29), 8580–8608.

Page, D., & Wong, T. P. (2000). A conceptual framework for measuring servant leadership. The Human Factor in Shaping the Course of History and Development. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Retrieved from

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