Teacher Leadership and School Improvement: A Case Study of Teachers Participating in the Teacher Leadership Network with a Regional Education Service Center
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The purpose of this multiple case study was to examine the perceptions and unique experiences of teachers and principals as they share leadership roles while implementing and supporting school improvement initiatives. The teachers involved in the study participated in professional development activities through the Teacher Leadership Network at a Regional Education Service Center. Using multiple sources of evidence to ensure validity of the findings, the research methodology included teacher leader interviews, principal interviews, teacher colleague interviews, observations of the teacher leaders, a teacher leader survey, a teacher self-reflective rubric, and a collection of documents relating to school improvement initiatives at each campus. Data collected over the course of the year were analyzed individually and collectively to document teacher leaders’ perceptions of their influence over the work of the principal and school improvement initiatives. Overall, the findings in this study are consistent with the Teacher Leader Conceptual Framework. Teacher leaders are successful when the conditions on the campus support the work of the teacher leader in sharing leadership responsibilities with the principal, the leadership work is valued, and the teacher leader is respected by their peers. Teachers and principals working together to maintain a focus on teacher learning and student achievement establish a trusting and collaborative relationship among all staff members resulting in achieving school improvement goals.