Student Achievement, Four Frame Theory, Bolman and Deal


This study was developed to provide information about the relationship of principals' use of Bolman and Deal's (1991) four frame model of leadership to student achievement. The collection and analysis of student Florida Comprehensive Assessment Testing (FCAT) data over a 2 year period served as a measure to indicate whether or not an increase in reading mean scale score occurred from 2004 to 2005. Comparative analysis of both sets of data using multiple regressions was used to determine if there was a relationship between the self-reported leadership orientations of the principals and student achievement. In addition, the study was intended to contribute to the quantitative data produced concerning the use of the four frames, multi-framing and reframing by elementary and secondary leadership. Principals in this study were surveyed concerning their use of the structural, human resource, political and symbolic frames of leadership using the Leadership Orientations (Self) instrument constructed by Bolman and Deal (1990). The only restriction concerning usability of the returned survey was that the principal had to be at the same school during the 2004 and 2005 school years. Of the 52 surveys returned, 42 (73%) formed the population for this study. This study found that the human resource frame was used most often but that 59% of the elementary teachers and 93% of the secondary teachers multi-framed on a regular basis. The study also found that that the use of the political frame and symbolic frame has increased. The self-reported data indicated no difference in effectiveness as a leader or as a manager, unlike previous data which indicated that leaders and managers worked from different frames to effect organizational policies. The analysis of data also indicated that there was no difference in frame use between elementary and secondary principals. The data indicated no relationship between the principals' frame usage and student achievement as measured by increases in FCAT Reading mean scale scores for the years 2004 and 2005. The implications of this finding are that there are other variables than use of the four frame model that contribute to an increase in FCAT mean scale scores. These emergent factors within and without the organization that is the public school system transcend what the data show in this case. Based on the findings of this study and supported by the literature review, it appears that school organizations could benefit leadership practice and possibly student achievement by providing training in the political and symbolic frames. It might also be perceived from the data, which indicated no relationship between principals' frame usage and student achievement, that leadership might begin to foster awareness of how successful principals' identify emergent patterns in the system. This ability to guide the diverse and constantly changing educational landscape toward positive adjustments in the system may be best served by those who are most adept at multi-framing and reframing to ensure student achievement.


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Graduation Date





Taylor, Rosemarye


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership








Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)