task behavior and relationship behavior: "Task behavior facilitates goal accomplishment by helping students to achieve their objectives. Relationship behavior helps student feel comfortable with themselves, with each other, and with the situations in which they find themselves”.
Concretely, the researchers looked at four different leadership behaviors hypothesized to “successfully influence students’ motivations to perform well: guiding, supportive, participating and performance-oriented.”
Guiding behavior means that teachers “instruct students about the task to be performed (what to do and how to do it) for them to be able to successfully complete their school work".
Supportive behaviour implies that they “encourage their students to continuously improve their performance".
Participating behaviour entails “involv[ing] students in teaching by listening to their ideas and suggestions and using them in future work and also by consulting them about any problems that arise during the students’ education.”
Performance-oriented behaviour are synonym with being “very clear in terms of what is expected of the students and encourage students to perform at a high level.”
To measure their effect on motivation, surveys were completed by 993 upper secondary students (ages 16-19) in the Northern region of Sweden. The participants were asked to answer different questions on a Likert scale:
Educational motivation included such questions as: “To what extent do you you view new knowledge areas as fun/exiting challenges?”, while teacher leadership was measured through such questions as: "To what degree does the following statement comply with your opinion? I perceive that I have a good relationship with my teacher / My teacher encourages me to continuously improve my performance / I perceive that I am taught what I need to do and how to do it to be able to carry out my studies.”
Confirming their hypothesis, the researchers found solid support for the claim that teachers’ leadership play fuels students' motivation.
Interestingly, however, although high developmental leadership motivated all students, low developmental leadership only demotivated students with high self-efficacy. As the authors write, the “results thus suggest that highly self-efficacious students become frustrated by teachers who pursue poor leadership, and that those students appear to be at greatest risk of losing their motivation to perform in school.”
Source: Öqvist and Malmström (2018), “What motivates students? A study on the effects of teacher leadership and students’ self-efficacy”, International Journal of Leadership in Education, 21:2, pp. 155–175.