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ERIC Number: ED550510
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 155
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-4550-4
Investigating Instructional Leadership Teams in Action: The Impact of School Context on Team Functioning and Authority
Weiner, Jennie Miles
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Harvard University
To meet the increasingly complex challenges associated with school leadership and reform (York-Barr & Duke, 2004; Whitaker, 1996; Hertling, 2001), researchers and practitioners have begun to push schools to move away from traditional, hierarchical leadership models and towards more "distributed" ones (Elmore, 1995; Spillane, Halverson, & Diamond, 2001). Such collaboration is thought to increase teachers' willingness to implement reforms, their instructional proficiency, and student achievement (Barth, 2001; Hart, 1990). To promote distributed leadership, many schools have introduced teams comprised of administrators and teachers (e.g., Instructional Leadership Teams) (David, 1991; Slater, 1994). Like top management teams in the private sector, Instructional Leadership Teams (ILTs) are meant to develop the strategy of the organization--in this case the school--and align organizational resources to enact it (Higgins, Weiner & Young, 2010). However, ILT members must do more than make strategic leadership decisions; they must also work to implement these decisions and the school's larger strategic plan. Despite ILTs' increasing presence in schools, there is to date little research on the factors that affect their processes and approach to implementing strategy. In this study, I address this gap and examine ILTs in four, in-district charter schools in a large, Northeastern city. I find that, despite ILT members' official designation as leaders, they were unable to obtain the authority necessary to make decisions that would impact the instruction. This outcome resulted from three interrelated factors: (1) an adherence among ILT members to a hierarchical model of leadership by the principal, (2) the hiring process and criteria used to identify ILT members, and (3) the influence of teaching's traditional professional norms of autonomy and egalitarianism. Therefore, while the ILTs provided a forum for discussion and potentially for reform, team members seemed unable to capitalize on this possibility and make decisions that would positively impact teacher instructional practice. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A