Theses Doctoral

The Practice of Learning-Oriented Teacher Leadership: A Qualitative 360-Degree Interview Study of Teacher Leaders and Their Colleagues

Kanarek, Derek D.

My dissertation is a qualitative 360-degree interview study that explores the leadership experiences of four teacher leaders in formal roles who received research-based training in constructive-developmental theory and learning-oriented leadership, which has four pillar practices of teaming, collegial inquiry, providing leadership roles, and mentoring. After identifying the teacher leaders using purposeful sampling seeking exemplar cases, I conducted three interviews with each teacher leader and 360-degree interviews with each teacher leader’s principal and teacher colleagues. I found that all four teacher leaders transferred their learning about constructive-developmental theory and learning-oriented leadership to make changes to how they led in their various roles that resulted in what they, their principals, and the teachers under their leadership said was effective coaching, teaming, and professional learning in interpersonal holding environments infused with high trust. I learned that the common learning-oriented leadership practices of building a strong holding environment (4/4) and developmental reflective practice (3/4) formed the foundation upon which each teacher leader also built a specialized implementation of learning-oriented leadership. Finally, I found that that there were five types of challenges to learning-oriented teacher leadership – challenges related to (a) the role of administration, (b) scarcity of time, (c) teacher resistance, (d) conflict management, and (e) the transitory nature of teacher leadership – and identified at least one strategy that one or more teacher leaders told me was helpful in addressing each challenge. My findings have implications for school leaders, education leadership theorists and researchers, and education leadership preparation programs.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Education Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Drago-Severson, Eleanor
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 13, 2020