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Importance of Research in Educational Leadership

The study of educational research methods is one of the most important components in a Master of Education in Educational Leadership online program. The coursework explores research methods in education and their empirical foundations. Education leaders can learn how to interpret research data and incorporate relevant insights into instructional strategies.

Research Helps Improve Instruction

Knowledge of research methods enables school leaders to provide teachers with support for continuous growth and development. Gene Bottoms, in the article What School Principals Need to Know about Curriculum and Instruction, notes, “Effective leaders provide opportunities for teachers to strengthen their subject-matter knowledge while learning new research-based, student-centered instructional strategies. The best staff development combines content knowledge and instructional methods.”

Five Key Responsibilities — The School Principal as Leader lists improving school leadership as one of the key responsibilities for school principals. Effective leaders help the school achieve educational goals. The report states that research has shown a link between leadership and student growth. The report even contains references to multiple research papers because they provide evidence on what is working and what isn’t.

When evaluating teachers, principals need to explain why a teacher needs to improve, with specifics on how. Being current on academic research proves valuable in this situation. Research helps administrators, principals and other educational leaders know which instructional methods would help their school achieve its goals.

Understand the Effects of a Changing World on Education

No doubt, the teaching methods educators used 100 years ago differ from those employed today. Even some instructional methods only a decade old are no longer in use.

According to TeachThought, “This Is the World Teachers Must Adapt To” lists seven factors that impact teaching:

  1. Emerging literacies.
  2. Mobile learning.
  3. Greater equity.
  4. Constant connectivity.
  5. Adaptive software.
  6. Context that demands new credibility.
  7. Era of distraction.

Finding better ways to achieve educational goals requires consideration of the above factors, which often stray outside the academic realm. Educational leaders can rely on research to incorporate the above factors into classroom instruction.

Benefits of Understanding Research

Learning research methodology offers support for educational leaders who want to make improvements in an academic setting. That is not the only benefit, however. In Why Learn Research Methodology? Barun Kumar Nayak explains that understanding research methods benefits both the individual conducting the research and the reader of the research.

Knowing the components of what makes good research helps individuals involved in any part of the process to take a scientific approach. This ensures the research is sound and that the researcher has conducted proper analysis and interpretation.

Additionally, following standard research methods saves time and money. In reading research, leaders depend on their knowledge of research methods to determine the difference between good and bad science.

In an age where anything can be posted online, even false information, it becomes critical for individuals to have a strong foundation in research to be able to distinguish biased research from unbiased research. This applies to educational leaders who have a responsibility to their teaching staff to validate the effectiveness of instructional methodologies.

Learn more about LSU Shreveport’s online Master of Education in Educational Leadership.


The Wallace Foundation: Five Key Responsibilities — The School Principal as Leader: Guiding School to Better Teaching and Learning


The Wallace Foundation: What School Principals Need to Know about Curriculum and Instruction

Indian Journal of Ophthalmology: Why learn research methodology?

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