Author(s)

Jennifer Luff

Date Approved

7-9-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Damminger, Joanne

Subject(s)

School environment;Career development

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

The complexity associated with educational leadership and the challenges related to school change require schools to cultivate new sources of leadership (Anderson, 2009; Copland, 2003, Danielson, 2007, Goldstein, 2004). Literature demonstrates that teacher leadership is linked to increased professional learning, sustained change, and improved student achievement (Hart, 1995; Spillane, Hallet, & Diamond, 2003; Trachtman, 1993). The purpose of this action research study was to evaluate the Teacher Leadership Coalition, a cadre of teachers developed to empower teachers, increase professional learning, and improve culture in the Ryan School District. While implementing interventions to improve the Coalition, I sought to learn more about teacher leadership and my development as a leader. Findings collected through this mixed method study demonstrate that the Teacher Leadership Coalition impacted the culture of the district by increasing collaboration, professional learning, and empowering teachers. Moreover, methods to foster teacher leadership and common obstacles emerged. These findings could provide techniques to develop teacher leadership in other districts wishing to do so. Furthermore, as a leader of this change project, I assessed my development as a leader who employs traits from servant, transformational, and distributive leadership theories. Through a comparison of my espoused leadership theory and my actions throughout this project, I gained a better understanding of leadership, and thus improved my practice (Osterman & Kottkamp, 1993).

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