Date of Award

Fall 9-29-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Timothy McCarty


Purpose: The purpose of this mixed-method Delphi study was to identify and rate the most important leadership skills and personal dispositions that effective teacher leaders use in leading educational change initiatives based on the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) Teacher Leadership Skills Framework. Additionally, this study explored how effective teacher leaders describe the leadership skills and personal dispositions that are most important in leading education change initiatives.

Methodology: This mixed method Delphi study identified and described the most critical leadership skills and personal dispositions used by expert teacher leaders in public schools in Sonoma and Marin County. Round one employed an open-ended questionnaire asking experts to name critical leadership skills and personal dispositions used in leading educational change initiatives. In round two, participants rated the responses based on personal experience. Round three was an individual interview for participants to provide a descriptive analysis of the results.

Findings: The analysis of data identified six leadership skills and five personal dispositions:

Leadership Skills

  • Building trusting relationships
  • Advocates equity, access, and opportunity for students
  • Strong collaborative/facilitation skills
  • Creates a safe environment, navigates discomfort
  • Shows care, support, kindness, and respect
  • Builds relationships through communication

Personal Dispositions

  • Has courage and commitment to ask hard questions, challenge assumptions, and advocate
  • Self-reflective, empathetic, and compassionate
  • Commits to academic growth of all students to close the opportunity gap
    • Reliable
    • Is willing to risk and try new strategies and techniques to reach all students

Conclusions: The findings from this study supported three conclusions.

  1. Schools and districts developing teacher leaders must prioritize supporting the six leadership skills and five personal dispositions identified.
  2. Building relationships is the most vital aspect of effective teacher leadership.
  3. Schools and districts must create opportunities for teachers to take on leadership roles in order for educational change initiatives to take root.

Recommendations: There are eight recommendations for further research: elementary vs. secondary teachers; length of tenure in the classroom; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leadership training models, regions of the state and/or nation, teachers with careers only in education vs. those who came from other industries, the perspective of administrators.