Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Reciprocal accountability and capacity building: The influence of distributed leadership on collective teacher efficacy and professional learning communities
by Miller-Bailey, Carleen S., Ed.D., Sage Graduate School, 2016, 129; 10246360
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this exploratory correlational research study was to examine the degree to which school leaders’ engagement in distributed leadership practices builds the capacity to empower expert teachers so that they can provide their colleagues with instructional and pedagogical support and thus advance teacher practice.  More specifically, the aim was to examine relationships between teachers’ perceptions of school leaders’ use of distributed leadership, which may then influence the mediating variable of collective teacher efficacy and, finally, the dependent variable, which is the level of implementation of professional learning communities in New York City public elementary schools. Online surveys were distributed to teachers in districts that serve minority students at schools with high poverty identification.

The responses were exported from the survey to SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) for data analysis. The results showed that scores on distributed leadership practices range from 1.33 to 6.00, with an average score of 4.48 (SD = 1.01) (1=Strongly Disagree and 6= Strongly Agree). Collective teacher efficacy correlated significantly and positively with distributed leadership practices (r = .45, p < .001); the professional learning community correlated significantly and positively with distributed leadership practices (r = .62, p < .001); and collective teacher efficacy correlated significantly and positively with professional learning community (r = .24, p = .001). A mediation analysis was conducted using multiple linear regression. The results showed that, although the first two conditions for full mediation were met, the third condition for full mediation was not. Additionally, a partial mediation analysis revealed that no significant partial mediation effect existed. The implication is that collective teacher efficacy did not have a significant mediating effect on the relationship between distributed leadership practices and the professional learning community.

Distributed leadership provides an organizational structure for reciprocal accountability and professional learning communities that affords teachers a forum for collegial discourse and capacity building. The variability within teachers’ perceptions of group members’ ability to provide quality instruction is not a predictor of collective action. Therefore, the relationship between distributed leadership and professional learning communities is not mediated by collective teacher efficacy. The level of implementation of professional learning communities is not contingent on collective teacher efficacy. Distributed leadership practices provide an essential framework for “stretching” leadership across many individuals in order to build capacity.

Keywords: distributed leadership, collective teacher efficacy, professional learning communities, reciprocal accountability, capacity building

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gerbino, Kathryn A.
Commitee: Durand, Francesca, Joyner-Wells, Joanne
School: Sage Graduate School
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 78/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, Teacher education
Keywords: Collective teacher efficacy, Distributed leadership, Professional development, Professional learning communities, Reciprocal accountability, Teacher leader
Publication Number: 10246360
ISBN: 978-1-369-43586-3
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