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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Examination of Relationships between District Level Instructional Leader Actions, Middle School Teacher Agency, and Participation in District Initiatives
by Hawrylchak, Amy W., Ed.D., Sage Graduate School, 2019, 109; 27543452
Abstract (Summary)

As school systems work toward large scale improvement for increased student achievement (Elmore, 2000), district level instructional leaders play the role of the bridge between policy and practice by implementing instructional initiatives (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, and Wahlstrom, 2004). Critical to the success or failure of these initiatives is teacher involvement and agency for the system at large (Datnow, 2012). There exist proven effective actions of district level instructional leaders. Marzano, Waters and McNulty (2005) determined 21 specific responsibilities of a school leader that have a direct correlation to student achievement.

The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine the relationship between the actions of District Level Instructional Leaders (DLIL), middle school teacher agency, and teacher willingness to participate in district level instructional initiatives in New York State middle schools that enroll between 1,300 and 6,500 students.

This quantitative study utilized a form of snowball sampling to distribute a survey to middle school teachers in 307 New York State middle schools whose total district student enrollment fell within the criteria of the study. A total of 103 respondents were asked questions related to their own teaching demographics, actions of their DLIL, indicators of their teacher agency, and details regarding their participation in district level instructional initiatives.

The findings indicate that there is a significant relationship between all three variables: DLIL actions, middle school teacher agency, and teacher participation in district level instructional initiatives. This showed that DLILs can choose their actions in order to make an impact on teacher agency within the school system. The peer learning element of teacher agency, related to opportunities for teaching colleagues to learn from each other, has the strongest relationship to the DLIL and participation in district level instructional initiatives. In addition to the findings related to the purpose of examining the relationship between the three variables in the study, data also showed presence and absence of specific actions of proven effective DLIL actions and influences of middle school teacher agency and participation in district level instructional initiatives.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gerbino, Kathryn
School: Sage Graduate School
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Middle School education
Keywords: District level instructional Initiatives, District level instructional Leader, Middle school, Teacher agency
Publication Number: 27543452
ISBN: 9798662401792
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