This study describes the work of central office teacher leaders, and identifies ways they carry out their work in different parts of their school district. The author uses a qualitative interview approach to explore how central office teacher leaders enact their work as they move between the school district central office and schools. Data for the study were gathered through in-depth qualitative interviews with twelve central office teacher leaders from five Midwestern school districts. Participants perceived themselves as sensemakers who help others understand new ideas in teaching and learning, and what is going on in various parts of the school district structure. Participants engaged in a wide variety of work throughout their school districts. In their view, four core professional practices mediate the effect of central office teacher leadership, including the continuous deepening of professional expertise, gathering and sharing information, making sense of teaching and learning, and making sense of the organization. In addition, central office teacher leaders rely on critical organizational supports to increase district capacities for teaching and learning, including systemic commitment, a well-articulated plan for professional learning, time and ongoing interactions with teachers and principals, and a dual presence in schools and in the central office. The study makes three unique contributions. First, it integrates three fields of research, school district reform, teacher leadership, and job crafting. Second, this study is an early attempt to understand the day-to-day work of school district reform. Third, it examines teacher leadership in a new context, the boundary between schools and the school district central office.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2014. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Jennifer York-Barr. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 145 pages, appendix A-F.
Murray, Audrey L..
An exploratory study of teacher leaders who work between the central office and schools.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.