Exploring the Experience of AISI Instructional Teacher Leaders

  • Author / Creator
    Kuntz, Jeffrey P.
  • Instructional teacher leaders are teachers who are asked to facilitate school improvement through mentorship, collaboration, coaching and professional dialogue. These teachers, who are usually not supervisors or administrators, are faced with the challenge of leading through encouragement and support rather than through directives and demands. This study examined the case of the instructional teacher leader and how teachers in these roles negotiated their identity as they dealt with the responsibilities and constraints of their duties. The research drew upon a series of semi-structured interviews with ten instructional teacher leaders from Alberta enlisted to work with and lead their colleagues in three year school improvement initiatives stemming from district and site-based projects sponsored by the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (2000-2013). The ten participants, who worked as lead teachers and instructional coaches, came from a variety of leadership roles and contexts. This dissertation used an adaptive process model as a frame to describe how teachers negotiate their roles and identity and work through the process of supporting and leading through instructional change. Observations and anecdotes from instructional teacher leaders were used to substantiate previous research, identify emergent themes, and develop this model. The resultant Instructional Teacher Leader Adaptive Process Model incorporated four interrelated and concurrent sub-processes: 1) clarifying leadership purpose and identity, 2) engaging the faculty in strategic change, 3) responding to organizational and relational challenges, and 4) reflecting on the work and reforms. Using excerpts from teacher interviews to support and contextualize them, these sub-processes are fully described and elaborated - each in a separate chapter of the dissertation. As a result of this study, suggestions were made regarding: considerations for prospective and continuing instructional teacher leaders, strategies for leading educational reforms from within a shared leadership model, and considerations for school and district leaders who would like to encourage and support instructional teacher leadership. In addition, a number of recommendations regarding the selection, training, support, professional growth and ideal contexts for instructional teacher leadership were also shared.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.