Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Richard Shrubb


The aim of this research was to address the gap in the literature on novice teacher leadership development from novice teachers’ perspectives. An explanatory sequential mixed methods design was used to identify the differences that years of experience may or may not have on southern US public school novice teachers’ teacher leadership identity, readiness, and engagement. Distributed leadership theory provided the theoretical lens and Sinha and Hanuscin’s (2017) Teacher Leadership Development Process Model was used as the conceptual framework.

Survey data were collected from 306 full-time pre-k through fifth grade teachers from 71 public elementary schools. One-way ANOVAs measured statistical differences between four teacher experience level subgroups. Factorial ANOVAs identified interactions between demographic and experience variables. A single-case study with embedded units examined the perceptions of novice teachers, experienced peer teachers, and administrators. Interview, observation/reflection, and online data were collected and analyzed.

Results showed that years of teaching experience have a significant effect on teacher leadership identity and engagement but not on readiness. The teacher leadership readiness factor of teacher autonomy is significantly affected by type of teaching program, but that effect is not dependent on years of experience. When combined, years of teaching and number of schools taught at significantly affect teacher leadership identity. These combined variables also significantly affect teacher leadership engagement in school change/improvement, school/district curriculum work, and professional development of colleagues. Additionally, novice teacher leadership development is significantly affected by school location, achievement levels, leadership style, culture, team dynamics, acceptance, and support.