Date of Award

Fall 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership

First Advisor

Kimberly Kimbell-Lopez


While the importance of effective leadership is undisputed, few studies have addressed what the role teachers have in effective leadership that promotes school improvement. This study draws on data analyzing survey responses from principals and teachers to better understand the perceptions of teachers and principals in regard to teacher leadership and to further examine perceptions of the role teacher leadership plays in school improvement. Also considered were needs, rewards, and barriers to effective teacher leadership, as well as the overall interest teachers have in becoming teacher leaders. The Teacher Leadership Roles survey was developed by the researcher and administered to public school principals (n=72) and teachers (n=144) from the state of Louisiana. Data for this study were analyzed using single-sample t-tests, independent-samples t-tests, paired-samples t-tests, and test for significance of difference between two proportions. According to the data collected in this study, perceptions of principals rated higher than those of the teachers regarding the frequency of enactment of teacher leadership roles. Furthermore, the data indicated that principals place more emphasis on teacher leadership and the role of teacher leadership in school improvement than do teachers themselves. The findings of this study raise concern that principals and teachers embrace different notions and assumptions of teacher leadership. Review of current literature clearly articulates the necessity of principals and teachers working collaboratively to enhance leadership positions and to institute new leadership roles for the sake of school improvement and student success.