Date of Award

Winter 12-6-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Philip Pendley

Second Advisor

Dr. LaFaye Platter

Third Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Greenberg


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the key learning opportunities necessary to build teacher leadership, the most difficult barriers to overcome, and the most important facilitators as identified by teacher experts. This study also sought to determine the best approaches to implementation of identified learning opportunities, the most effective approaches for overcoming identified barriers, and the most effective approaches for implementing facilitators that support teacher leaders.

Methodology: Consistent with a Delphi method, the instruments used within this study collected perceptual data from an expert panel of high school teachers from Riverside County, California, through an electronic format within a 3-round process. The expert panel consisted of effective high school teacher leaders selected by their principals based on the 6 most prominent characteristics of effective teacher leaders.

Findings: Findings showed that there are elements of professional learning opportunities that must be addressed for professional learning to take place. They include the opportunity for collaboration, practice, and practical application. Teachers must also feel that they have a voice in addressing current issues/needs. Findings from this study also indicate that it is essential to have an environment that includes a supportive administration and supportive colleagues and that the provision of time is essential for developing effective teacher leadership.

Conclusions: According to the expert panel, to implement professional learning opportunities that develop effective teacher leadership, teachers must have the opportunity to collaborate, practice and apply newly learned information or instructional strategies, and have a voice in addressing current issues and site needs. Finally, developing effective teacher leadership is facilitated through a supportive environment.

Recommendations: To develop effective teacher leadership, schools and districts must (a) restructure the school day to create time for teachers to interact, (b) provide teachers with information on teacher leadership, (c) bridge the disconnect that currently exists between what teachers and what administrators believe is needed, (d) provide professional learning for teachers and administrators to continue the development of a shared model of decision making, and (e) provide opportunities for teachers to participate in peer observation and debriefing, self-reflection, practicing teacher leadership skills, and mentoring and coaching colleagues.