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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Insights from Leaders in Small, Rural School Districts: A Study of the Iowa Teacher Leadership and Compensation Program
by Arneson Havenstrite, Michelle, Ed.D., University of South Dakota, 2021, 164; 28317538
Abstract (Summary)

This quantitative study aimed to examine the school context (culture and climate) of teacher leadership. This study utilized a survey instrument that incorporated the Teacher Leadership School Survey (TLSS) developed by Katzenmeyer and Katzenmeyer (2003) and four open-ended questions developed by the researcher. The study sought to identify the differences between the building principals’ and teacher leaders’ perceptions of the dimensions of school context for teacher leadership, the factors that support or inhibit teacher leadership practices in small, rural schools, and how leadership roles and responsibilities are distributed between teacher leaders and building administrators. Participants included 117 building principals and 48 teacher leaders from 157 school districts with an enrollment size between 250 and 850 students. At the time of the study, there was limited research on teacher leadership in small, rural school settings; therefore, this study aimed to help address gaps in the field of rural education and teacher leadership. The research findings indicated both building principals and teacher leaders believed each of the seven dimensions measured by the TLSS were present in their respective school buildings either “always” or “often.” Second, the data indicated that many teacher leaders in small, rural schools have multiple roles, and limited-time provides a barrier to implementing their teacher leadership position. Additionally, the narrative responses from both building principals and teacher leaders indicated some resistance from non-teacher leaders to the program and a lack of administrative support and understanding of teacher leadership. Supportive factors included building principal support and having a designated time to collaborate. Recommendations suggest that the school culture must set a stage for collaboration and educational change through distributive leadership (shared decision making). Second, it is critically important that the district and building administration understand the components of an effective teacher leadership program and are willing and equipped to support both teacher leaders in their position and non-teacher leaders through the use of distributed leadership processes. Finally, a successful teacher leadership program in small rural school districts must intentionally address the existing barriers to full implementation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reed, Kristine
Commitee: Card, Karen , Aderhold, Fred, Davies, Julie
School: University of South Dakota
Department: Educational Administration
School Location: United States -- South Dakota
Source: DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration, Education finance
Keywords: Building principal leadership, Rural school, Teacher leaders, Teacher leadership
Publication Number: 28317538
ISBN: 9798582505464
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