Top Educational Leadership Styles Teachers Use in Class

Aavni Desai
April 17, 2023
3 min read

Leadership can be tricky to define and is also hard to master as a skill. A teacher needs to pick one out of several education leadership styles if they hope to train students well and wish to see them work together.

An educational leader must pick the most suitable style based on the type of students they teach and whether they are a college or school teacher. They must also pick one that matches their teaching skills and personal taste too. If you’re interested in learning more about what these styles are and how teachers can make use of them, keep reading to learn more.

What Is Educational Leadership?

Educational leaders are influential individuals that assist students in becoming better versions of themselves. They guide students toward the best learning path and help them determine how they will attain their goals and the journey they must follow. This also includes providing students with relevant information sources, opportunities, guidance, or direct instructions. Leaders also ensure that:

  • All students have the necessary resources and information to succeed
  • Students feel safe and are willing to participate in class discussions
  • Students become the best version of themselves both outside and inside the classroom 
  • Students have an inspirational example in front of them in the form of their teacher, who makes the goal journey and path easier to see

The Importance of Strong Leadership in Education

  • Students can adapt easily to modern teaching and use the given information and resources to succeed
  • Allows students and teachers to work together in harmony. The teacher is clear on what to do and when while students find it easier to follow instructions under an expert's watch
  • Students feel safe at school and realize the importance of education
  • Enables teaching skills like classroom management, handling certain student types, and discussing issues with other teachers

Top Educational Leadership Styles

  1. Instructional Leadership

The instructional leadership style is focused on student development and instruction. This form of teaching is effective as it allows teachers to polish their teaching skills and understand how to do better at their job.

The main idea that this type of educational leadership revolves around is the use of a teacher's existing expertise and knowledge to teach students effectively. Teachers are not given exact guidelines on how to behave or teach in class, which enables them to use their skills and judgment to allow students to learn new skills, topics, and techniques. 

Many think that this teaching style is chaotic, but the truth is that it helps create a classroom environment where everyone is in the know; both teachers and students know what they are doing and why. It also encourages a sense of ownership, promotes responsibility for individual actions, and enables students to strive for excellence.

Instructional leaders work on understanding how students learn, what teaching methods suit each student, and how this data can be used to create an effective classroom environment. Due to this, most teachers often use this teaching style along with managerial or motivational leadership styles.

  1. Transformational Leadership 

Transformational teachers lead by inspiration as they help students see what they can achieve if they commit to their values and goals. They allow students to think outside the box and look for innovative ways of achieving a goal.

They are also responsible for encouraging students to develop the required skills to practice innovation. This leadership style is great for teachers as it gets students excited to learn, helps them stay focused, creates a sense of trust, makes challenges less complicated, and makes students more willing to listen/follow given advice or instructions.

The best part is that teachers not only build strong relationships with their students through this style, but they are also able to foster great relationships with staff members, which makes them even better leaders in the long run.

  1. Constructivist Leadership 

Constructivist leaders encourage students to collaborate and share their unique solutions so that the classroom can work together to find the best answer to a problem. This form of learning is called constructivism, as it gears students to understand what they are learning through interaction and exploration of a perspective through several eyes. This leadership style has proven effective in helping build confidence and social skills. It empowers students and pushes them to use the given opportunities to discover, create, explore, and develop skills for success in later education and practical life.

Teachers also make sure to enable critical thinking skills using this teaching style by asking the right questions. Activities are conducted in groups, and several projects allow students to realize how everyone thinks differently. This broadens the knowledge base by also helping students acquire skills they can use at work and in practical life later on. The constructivist style has proven effective in producing better student scores and academic performance.


Knowing about the various leadership styles can allow teachers to plan the perfect strategy to tackle students in class. Not only does this improve academic performance, but it also enables students to acquire skills that allow them to act as leaders in various fields when the time comes.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Aavni Desai

Up next