International Education Journal


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Epistemological Beliefs and Leadership Style among School Principals

Dr. Bakhtiar Shabani Varaki
Associate Professor of Education, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran



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The purpose of this research is to identify the differences in epistemological beliefs among school principals at primary and high school levels as well as to measure and assess the impacts of such differences on their leadership styles both, task-oriented and relationship-oriented. A total of 96 questionnaires were sent to school principals to assess their assumptions about the nature of knowledge including: simple, certain, innate, and quick (SCIQ). Ex-post facto research, t-test, and Lambda test were used to analyse the data. The result indicates that there is a strong relationship between the principals' epistemological beliefs and their leadership styles. The administrators with low levels of belief in SCIQ knowledge have stronger relationship-oriented leadership styles than those who showed a higher belief level in SCIQ knowledge. The research also shows a significant relationship between the epistemological beliefs of the administrators and their work levels. This means, that the secondary principals scored lower in epistemological beliefs than primary school principals. The data indicate that secondary school principals implement relationship-oriented leadership while the primary school principals apply task-oriented style.

epistemological beliefs, leadership style, school, Principals


Varaki, B.S. (2003) Epistemological Beliefs and Leadership Style among School Principals. International Education Journal, 4 (3), 224-231.

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