Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Larry McNeal

Committee Member

Reginald Green

Committee Member

Charisse Guolsino

Committee Member

Louis Franceschini, III


The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which elementary and middle school teachers perceived they were being treated as leaders at their schools and were being provided with a substantial role in making school decisions. With respect to their perceived leadership status, elementary and middle school teachers differed only in their assessment of the effectiveness of teacher leadership at their institutions, with elementary teachers offering statistically significant but only slightly more positive ratings than their middle-level counterparts (x²(1) = 6.30, p = .012, ø = -0.04). In examining the perceptions of subgroups of elementary and middle school teachers, teachers' years of experience and their tenure at the school were both observed to mediate their responses to particular teacher leadership items but the effects were small and not directionally consistent. Much more frequent, however, were statistically significant differences in the size of the role that elementary and middle school teachers perceived they played in school decision making. While more middle-level than elementary level teachers held that their role was moderate to large in decisions involving devising teaching techniques (x²(1) = 7.81, p = .005, ø = 0.05) and setting grading and student assessment practices (x²(1) = 16.90, p < .001, ø = 0.07), more elementary than middle school teachers claimed a substantial level of influence with respect to such matters as the content of professional development (x²(1) = 6.17, p = .013, ø = -0.04), student discipline procedures (x²(1) = 9.36, p = .002, ø =- 0.05), the selection of teachers new to this school (x²(1) = 6.80, p = .009, ø = -0.05), and school improvement planning (x²(1) = 14.83, p < .001, ø = -0.07). Analyses of these decision making issues, by subgroups of teachers, indicated that, at both levels of schooling, more years of experience and longer tenure at a school tended to interact with the level of schooling and to expand the teacher's perceived role. Consistently evidencing the most robust effects by experience and tenure was teachers' perceived level of involvement in school improvement planning.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.