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ERIC Number: ED541089
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 202
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2672-7884-5
Leading and Learning: Leadership, Change, and Challenge in a Professional Development Initiative
Curtis, Todd A.; DiFabio, Mark L.; Fortuna, Jodi L.; Lauze, Kathleen M.; McCoy, Tina H.; Nikas, Kathryn M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Boston College
Schools seeking to increase student achievement often employ professional development strategies to institute instructional reforms, yet research offers little guidance on how leadership behaviors might support professional development aimed at district reform and instructional change. This qualitative case study examined the following research questions in a suburban Massachusetts district: (1) What is the role of leadership in an initiative to change literacy instruction in a small, suburban district? (a) How is leadership distributed, if at all, in this initiative? (b) What leadership behaviors, if any, do teachers and administrators view as contributing to or limiting to positive instructional change in the literacy initiative? Who is exercising these leadership behaviors? (c) What leadership behaviors support or limit engagement in the initiative? (2) How, if at all, do the professional development strategies utilized in this literacy initiative build capacity for teacher and administrator growth and further change? Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with six district leaders, including four elementary principals, the superintendent, and literacy coach; observations of Literacy Leadership Team meetings and study groups; a written teacher questionnaire; and a reflexive journal. Findings revealed that participants favorably viewed the reform-oriented professional development activities and reported that instructional changes had occurred in their schools. Discrepant perspectives on leadership affected its successful distribution. Time and communication concerns surfaced deeper, adaptive challenges related to the collective understanding of the initiative's vision and priorities, the enactment of instructional leadership by principals and teachers, and trust between stakeholders. Recommendations that arose from the findings provide guidance to the district about how to build professional capacity, shared meaning, distributed leadership, sustainability, and trust. [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: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts