Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


John Pijanowski

Committee Member

Kara Lasater

Second Committee Member

Christian Goering


Teacher Leadership


Teacher leadership, has been defined by many researchers as the answer to school improvement through the use of teacher leaders leading the effort in schools and districts. This qualitative dissertation takes a deep look into the experiences of teachers and administrators that participated in a nation-wide teacher leadership pilot, the Teacher Leadership Initiative (TLI), and the effects that this year-long event had on leadership, school improvement and teacher and administrator professional practices. Unifying outcomes from the participants as a result of their involvement in this initiative included changes in thinking about leadership that directly improved professional efficacy, collaborative and leadership skills, and a new sense of identification as a leader that was not experienced before the TLI. Additionally, teachers reported that being given the opportunity to lead outside the classroom in a project chosen by them to improve their schools and districts, allowed them to experience professional growth as they had not experienced in their careers as educators.