Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Instruction and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Beverly Cross

Committee Member

Reginald Green

Committee Member

Mitsunori Misawa

Committee Member

Lisa Watts


As teacher turnover, teacher effectiveness, and the quality of the education profession as a whole become trending topics of education reform, research on how to effectively address those issues is increasingly needed. One such response to thesse issues of attrition, educational quality, and effectiveness is the increasing presence and impact of teacher leadership programs. Teacher leadership programs are evolving as a change agent in the educational context with implications for impacting participating as well as other teachers. The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe the ways in which teacher leadership programs impact secondary teachers' retention, instructional capacity, and influence on other teachers. By conducting this research, it was the intention of the researcher to add to the body of research that informs the education profession about the direct impact teacher leadership programs have on teachers and thus inform the need for and implementation of such programs. This study was guided by the following research questions:1. How does participating in a teacher leadership program influence the decision of secondary school teachers to remain classroom teachers?2. How does participating in a teacher leadership program shape the instructional capacity of teacher leaders?3. How have teacher leadership programs enabled teacher leaders to influence other teachers? The results of this study indicated that participating in teacher leadership programs impact secondary teachers' decision to remain classroom teachers beyond their participation in teacher leadership programs, their increased instructional capacity, and their ability to positively influence their peers within and beyond their school. Data collection methods included individual interviews, a focus group interview, and the use of archival data. Three overall major themes from the data collection included Building Capacity, Re-Imagining the Profession, and Self-Identity and Influence. Major contributions of the study were the emergence of three themes on Empowerment that were associated with participation in teacher leadership programs: empowered in student learning, empowered to engage in and improve the profession, and empowered to influence the future of the profession. This study provided an in depth investigation into the description of how participating in teacher leadership programs indeed transforms the education profession by improving secondary teachers' retention, instructional capacity, and influence on other teachers.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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