Transformational Teacher Leadership: Exploring Individual and Organizational Conditions, Knowledge, Experience, and Supports Influencing Engagement
Rankin, Beth Anne
This study focused on teacher perceptions regarding individual and organizational conditions, knowledge, experience, and supports needed to foster teacher leadership engagement at all levels. Using a transformational teacher leadership framework, research question 1 focused on individual (teacher) and organizational (school and district) conditions that influence teacher engagement in transformative leadership (both formal and informal), and research question 2 focused on knowledge, experience, or supports needed for teachers to engage in more transformational leadership. Research question 2 also drew in unique perceptions of Teachers of the Year (TOYs). Through a mixed method design with qualitative and quantitative measures, the study explored factors needed for teachers to be transformational in their daily work in and beyond the classroom. Findings revealed organizational culture supportive of teacher leadership was associated with informal leadership engagement, and qualitative measurements revealed that Culture was associated with all leadership engagement (formal and informal). Organizational conditions most influencing transformational teacher leadership engagement included teacher voice, empowerment, communication, collaboration, appreciation, purpose, and relationship-building. Key takeaways included the potential of Teachers of the Year to foster engagement, the importance of Culture supportive of teacher leadership engagement, the reality of variation occurring in teachers’ lived experiences, and a Purpose Principle (teachers need to know the “why” and the “impact” of engagement). Recommendations included system thinking, culture-building practices, collaboration (LEAD Initiative, vertical alignment, and new teacher mentoring), communication, and the creation of the Forever TOYs (Teachers of the Year) Community of Practice to foster transformational teacher leadership engagement.
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