More than just a teacher: exploring multiple perspectives of how teachers serve as instructional leaders

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessalyn Woods (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Ulrich Reitzug

Abstract: Historically, roles associated with instructional leadership in schools have been the sole responsibility of the school’s principal. Increased accountability has intensified the pressure on school personnel causing a paradigm shift that has progressively acknowledged the contributions of teacher leaders as an essential component of the school improvement process. Traditionally, teacher leaders have fulfilled varying leadership roles in their schools, many of which have been administrative. With a greater call for accountability in the school improvement process, there has been a gradual shift from teacher leaders serving in administrative roles to teacher leaders serving in instructional roles. Although bureaucratic infrastructures within school systems sometimes impede teacher-focused reform, this paradigm shift supports the disposition in favor of teacher involvement in the school improvement process. In fact, scholars suggest that without the integral involvement of teachers who possess diverse and specialized skills, school improvement efforts could not achieve systematic progress towards sustainable goals (Tomal, Schilling, & Wilhite, 2014). As our nation continues to grapple with the complexity of sustainable school improvement, this dissertation introduces an innovative approach to school reform that focuses on building the instructional capacity of the teacher workforce through the development of a new group of teacher leaders—teacher instructional leaders (TILs). Three individual teacher cases and their respective school administrators participated in this qualitative case study. The following research questions guided the study: How do teachers practice as teacher instructional leaders (TILs)? How do school principals promote the development of teacher instructional leaders (TILs)? What is the impact of teacher instructional leaders (TILs) on the whole school and the teacher? Assuming that our nation is concerned with reforming our failing public schools, it would be beneficial to consider the contributions of this qualitative case study to scholarship related to educator effectiveness, teacher leadership, instructional leadership, and teacher instructional leadership. For the fate of our country will not be decided on a battlefield, it will be determined in a classroom (Weber, 2010).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Educator effectiveness, Instructional leadership, School improvement, School reform, Teacher instructional leadership, Teacher leadership
Teacher participation in administration
Educational leadership
Teacher-principal relationships
School improvement programs
Educational change

Email this document to