Evaluating the influence of school principals’ transformational leadership on student performance: Analysis of microdata from Prova Brasil

Vera Regina Ramos Pinto, Deborah Moraes Zouain, André Luís Faria Duarte, Luiz Alexandre Valadão Souza


This article presents a study on the extent to which the leadership of Brazilian school principals has helped improve students’ achievements as reflected by the results of external evaluations of schools. The study sought to measure leadership dimensions based on microdata from contextual questionnaires answered by principals and teachers; propose a model that relates leadership dimensions to student achievement as reflected by schools’ IDEB results; and verify the relationships between leadership dimensions and student achievement. To that end, we performed multivariate analyzes, specifically structural equations modeling, on a database containing microdata from Prova Brasil and IDEB values. Results show that it is possible to measure leadership dimensions using these microdata. Based on the conceptual model developed, there is evidence that the relationships developed by the principal within the school have a greater effect on teachers’ commitment to improve teaching and learning, thus indirectly affecting school performance. In addition, school principals have sought to exercise transformational leadership combined with pedagogical leadership, which represents a challenge for them, since it covers many knowledge areas.


school principal; leadership; Prova Brasil; structural equation modeling

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.27.4267

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