Date of Award

5-1-2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Killian, Joyce

Abstract

Title: LEADERSHIP ROLES FOR NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED TEACHERS IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS SCHOOL DISTRICTS National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) are highly skilled in the latest research-based instruction and understand the importance of data-driven instruction and its impact on student learning. Because of their expertise, NBCTs have the potential to become leadership agents for producing high-performing schools. However, there is little to no evidence that NBCTs are being encouraged to use their expertise to improve school performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore NBCTs in leadership roles in southern Illinois schools. To accomplish this purpose, three areas were explored: the extent to which NBCTs participated in leadership roles in schools and the nature of those NBCT leadership roles, NBCTs' perceptions regarding their leadership role significance, and the enablers and barriers to NBCT leadership. Mixed methods were used to interpret, analyze, and draw conclusions from quantitative and qualitative data. The findings show that prior to November 2007, 150 NBCTs were actively teaching in Regional Areas V and VI in southern Illinois school districts. Sixty-two percent (n=93) of those NBCTs responded to the request that they participate in the survey. Of those responding to the survey, over one half (59%) of NBCTs were involved in leadership roles in schools. In addition to their regular teaching assignments, the majority of these NBCTs were involved in multiple leadership roles in the seven core areas of professional growth and staff development, mentoring, curriculum development, student achievement, grant writing, school improvement, and support groups. Forty-one percent (n=38) of NBCTs indicated not having a leadership role. To determine NBCTs' perceptions of leadership role significance, NBCTs ranked the significance of their leadership role(s). The findings show that NBCTs perceived their leadership role(s) to have the most significance when addressing the following areas: (a) improved classroom practices, (b) communicating and operating from strong ideals about teaching and learning, (c) coaching and facilitating teams of teachers in school wide professional and staff development, (d) disaggregating and analyzing test scores data to increase student learning, and (e) promoting shared goals and vision. NBCTs perceived less significance when their leadership role(s) were involved in collaborating with administrators in creating and sustaining internal conditions, acting as change agents to inspire peers, leading the recognition and celebration of school accomplishments, facilitating sessions on current theories and practices, and addressing and adapting to negative undercurrents within the organization. The enablers and barriers to NBCT leadership roles were explored. The findings show that factors associated with administrators, colleagues, and circumstances beyond one's control contributed to the enabling or barring of NBCT leadership in schools.

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