NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED525322
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 198
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-0998-3
The Nature of Teacher Leadership in a Boston Pilot School
Chesson, Laura S.
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Lowell
As the pressure on schools to meet higher and higher expectations with less and less resources increases, educators seek to explore school models which are centered on reforms that increased the likelihood of meeting this challenge. One reform initiative which has received much attention is the utilization of teacher leadership to improve school climate and increase student achievement. The Boston Arts Academy, one of the Boston pilot schools, utilizes a model of school design that has been shown to be successful at closing the achievement gap that exists in urban areas between the students of upper socio-economic background and lower socio-economic background. The success of the school can be attributed to a number of elements of its design, but most notably to its extensive use of teacher leadership. Using a mixed methods design, this study examined the nature of the choices that Boston Arts Academy has made that has assisted its community in developing and nurturing teacher leadership by seeking to answer the question: How are they able to do that? In other words, how has Boston Arts Academy "operationalized" teacher leadership within its school? Data was collected through administering four survey instruments which focused on trust between key players within the school community, the school climate and organizational citizenship within the building, the leadership techniques of the formal leaders within the building, and the degree to which the school community is a "professional learning community." A normative database exists for each of these instruments, which allowed for the comparison of the data collected from Boston Arts Academy with data from other schools across the country. In addition each co-headmaster was interviewed twice and five teachers were interviewed once. Data was organized and analyzed using SPSS, NVivo 8 and NVivo 9. Examination and analysis of the quantitative data collected demonstrated that the Boston Arts Academy staff reported a higher level of trust between stakeholders, teacher professionalism, organizational citizenship, community engagement, seriousness of academic purpose, and implementation of the construct of a "professional learning community" within their school than reported by the schools in the normative database. Each of these elements is a characteristic of schools in which teacher leadership flourishes. The analysis of the qualitative data of the study suggests that structural choices that the school has made, such as the creation of teacher-led curriculum and grade-level teams, team-taught writing courses, professional development partners, school opening professional development workshops, and a clearly articulated hiring process have made significant contributions to the ability of this school to implement and nurture teacher leadership. This study is unique in that it is mixed-methods in design and it focuses not only on the characteristics of the school which allow teaching leadership to flourish, but it also examines how those characteristics came to be. While not immediately generalizable to all schools, it provides a "jumping off point" for schools seeking to implement the pilot school model and/or utilize teacher leadership within their school community. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts