Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2021

Document Type

Dissertation (799 registration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Michael Coquyt


teacher leadership, vision, coherence, educational leadership, ownership, motivation, systemic alignment


Many models of instructional teacher leadership exist in schools with various outcomes for teachers. The aim of this case study was to understand systemic alignment in a formal teacher leadership system and how this alignment impacted instructional change. This dissertation was framed by three research questions: 1) How do the rationales of teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators regarding teacher leadership in their school align? 2) How does the coherence of a system of leadership impact classroom teachers’ abilities to engage with formal teacher leaders? 3) How does the coherence of a system of leadership impact classroom teachers’ abilities to implement instructional changes?

A qualitative case study was conducted utilizing semi-structured interviews in one rural school in Minnesota. The participants included one K–12 principal, two high school teacher leaders, two high school teachers, two elementary teacher leaders, and two elementary teachers, and a district Q Comp Coordinator. Role theory (Biddle 1979; Katz & Kahn, 1978; & Turner, 2002) was the theoretical framework used to analyze the data. The findings yielded two scenarios: The elementary in which systemic alignment and a positive engaging culture was associated with the teachers’ willingness to implement instructional change; and the high school in which a slight variation in the shared vision regarding ownership rendered role conflict, periods of teacher-teacher leader disengagement, and teacher instructional changes dependent upon feelings of ownership and relevance.



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