Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Educational leadership; Teacher participation in administration; Teacher effectiveness;


Teacher leadership has been in schools from the time teachers rang the school bells. Three waves of teacher leadership have been examined. The first wave focused on formal managerial positions such as department chairs, the second wave focused on curriculum and staff development, and the third wave focused on daily acts of collaboration to solve problems and provide professional development activities for staffs. This study explored the third wave practice of teacher leaders in a qualitative study focusing on the narratives of 11 teacher leaders.

A narrative of lives format was used to study leadership experiences. A pilot study was conducted with three teacher leaders in two school districts. The teachers in the research study were purposely selected from a pool of graduates from a master's degree program focusing on teacher leadership. The teacher leaders shared their stories and their present philosophy and acts of teacher leadership in semi-structured interviews.

The study explored the relationship of teachers' personal and professional experiences on their construct of teacher leadership. A number of factors influenced leadership development including childhood experiences, serendipity and happenstance experiences, and mentors who encouraged teachers to get involved in leadership. Families influenced leadership activity and timing. Characteristics of meaningful site-based professional development and university-school professional development programs were examined. Principals either promoted or discouraged teacher leadership. The study describes implications for teachers, principals, and professional development programs and activities.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Linda Fitzgerald, Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Mary Herring, Committee Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 203 pages)



File Format