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ERIC Number: ED556918
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 133
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3211-0115-7
Growing Teachers: The Practice of Teacher Leadership and Its Implications for Professional Development in Literacy Instruction
Swiger, Shannon
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of New Hampshire
Improving student literacy is largely dependent upon the presence of outstanding teachers (Rupley, 2011; Strickland, Kamil, Walberg, & Manning, 2004). One of the significant influences for developing and sustaining outstanding teachers is professional development. However, not all professional development is equally valuable when it comes to fostering teacher change and supporting the effective implementation of best practice. The inquiry described here explored a unique teacher leadership role that appeared to be deeply connected to what we know about effective professional development for classroom teachers. Using a descriptive case study, this inquiry attempted to better understand the Reading Teacher Leader (RTL) role and the implications it had on the leaders' own learning, development, and instructional practices. I hoped that a better understanding of this role, and its implications for the leaders, would provide insights that could be used to strengthen the link between professional development efforts and subsequent changes to teachers' actual classroom practices. Ultimately, this insight could be used to help improve classroom reading instruction that promotes student literacy. The results of this investigation indicate that primary grade classroom teachers' participation in the RTL role significantly contributed to their growth and development as classroom reading teachers. Participation in the RTL role provided these teachers with access to critical learning opportunities that in turn cultivated their teaching efficacy and lead to important changes. The findings from this investigation underscore the essential role teaching efficacy can play in changing teacher practice. This motivational construct appeared to be the driving force behind the RTLs' willingness and commitment to implement recommended practices. Ultimately, if professional development intends to change teacher practice, then it must target the learning experiences that have proven effective in cultivating teacher efficacy. In addition, the RTLs felt empowered by the practice of teacher leadership. When teacher leadership is placed in the context of professional development it provides an important extension to the long term goals of professional development: teacher empowerment. Engaging teachers in a broad range of leadership experiences and actions is one promising model of professional development that can promote teacher growth and empower classroom teachers. [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 Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A