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«CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN MARCOS Restructuring Leadership for 21st Century Schools: How Transformational Leadership and Trust Cultivate ...»

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Restructuring Leadership for 21st Century Schools:

How Transformational Leadership and Trust Cultivate Teacher Leadership

A dissertation proposal submitted in partial satisfaction of the

requirements for the degree Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership


Paula Cheree Longwell-McKean

Committee in charge:

California State University, San Marcos Professor Lorri Santamaria, Chair Professor Patricia Stall University of California, San Diego Professor Carolyn Huie Hofstetter 2012 Copyright Paula Cheree Longwell-McKean, 2012 All rights reserved.

Signature Page This Dissertation of Paula Cheree Longwell-McKean is approved, and it is acceptable in

quality and form for publication on microfilm and electronically:




Chair University of California, San Diego California State University, San Marcos 2012 iii Dedication It goes without saying that I couldn’t have completed this mission without encouragement from my dream team - Drs. Santamaría, Hofstetter, and Stall. Your continued dedication to strive for educational excellence has inspired me to become the leader I am today. For that I thank you.

Someone once said the best dissertation is a done dissertation. While many people were instrumental in helping me reach the finish line, I am most grateful to the support and patience afforded me by my husband and partner for life, Dave. When I started this journey I was math teacher extraordinaire. Now as I end this venture a new principalship and title of Dr. await. You were there when I needed a synonym for leadership or to remind me that working throughout the night makes for a cranky teacher in the morning. Thank you for encouraging me to always strive for excellence. I can’t wait to see what’s next on my educational journey (Harvard here I come)!

This dissertation is dedicated to my son, Jordan, my girl, Ashley, and nephews Cody and Jackson. You are incredible young people with exceptional talents. Be open to the road that lies ahead. Think about what it means to take the high road as you are the future. Be smart, be wise, find what makes you happy and you will forever make me proud.

To my parents, Jerry and Paula Longwell. Your example of love and your importance of family are forever ingrained on my heart. After 50 years of marriage you are still endlessly in love and it shows as you continue to model for our family the importance of home and respect for each other. I am truly the luckiest girl in the world!

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Signature Page


Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables



Of The Dissertation

Chapter One: Introduction to the Study


Statement of the Problem

Purpose of this Study

Research Questions

Study Methodology

Significance of the Study


Definition of Terms

Chapter Two: Review of the Literature

Introduction to the Literature

Transactional Leadership and Transformational Leadership

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Trust Theory and the Transformational Leader

Transformational Leadership and School Culture

The Effects of a Transformational Principal on Teacher Commitment

The Effects of Transformational Leadership on Teacher Leaders

Efficacy and Teacher Leadership

Implications for Social Justice and Leadership

Summary and Conclusions

Chapter Three: Research Design and Methodology

Introduction of Study Design

Purpose of the Study and Research Questions

Research Design

Phase One: Qualitative Analysis

Phase Two: Quantitative Analysis

Data Collection Methods.

Significance of the Study

Limitations and Challenges


Chapter Four: Results and Findings


Data Analysis

Phase One: Qualitative Findings

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Chapter Five: Discussion and Conclusion

Summary of the Study

Discussion of Major Findings and Results

Implications for Educational Practice

Recommendations for Future Research

Final Remarks

Appendix A: MLQ Rater Form

Appendix B: MLQ Leader Form

Appendix C: Teacher Leader Interview Questions

Appendix D: Omnibus T-Scale


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Figure 1: The Effects of Principals' Leadership Style and Quality of Relationships on Teacher Leadership

Figure 2: The Additive Effect of Transformational Leadership

Figure 3: The Additive Effect of Transformational Leadership

Figure 4: Principals’ Results from Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire..................50

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Table 1: Quantitative Responses from Omnibus T-Scale

Table 2: The Interconnectedness of the 4Is and Emerging Themes

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1997 Christian Heritage College Bachelor of Science, Business Management 1997 University of San Diego, San Diego, CA Paralegal Certificate 2005 California State University, San Marcos, CA Master of Arts, Education 2012 California State University, San Marcos, CA University of California, San Diego, CA Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership


2001 California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development 2012 California Single Subject Credential, Mathematics 2011 Administrative Services Credential


2002-2005 Diocese of San Diego 5th Grade Classroom Teacher 2005–2012 Vista Unified School District Principal, Empresa Elementary School District Math Coach, Mathematics Teacher


2008 Educator of the Year Finalist California League of Middle Schools 2010 National Board Certified Teacher Early Adolescence Mathematics 2010 Middle School Math Teacher of the Year Greater San Diego Mathematics Council

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Restructuring Leadership for 21st Century Schools:

How Transformational Leadership and Trust Cultivate Teacher Leadership

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A growing body of literature on effective leadership styles has emerged as 21st century leaders face higher student expectations, more demands on teachers and lack of support from the public. An examination of the effects of transactional and transformational leadership provides educators with indications as to the best practices with regard to transforming the direction of schools. Proponents of transformational leadership recommend this approach as the best fit for today’s changing times.

Transformational leadership holds potential in the complex environment of contemporary education and therefore provides supportive conditions to build teacher leadership capacity. Transformational principals recognize the need to develop teacher leaders and the importance of supporting the development of teacher-to-teacher relationships. A

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consideration, inspirational motivation, and intellectual stimulation, along with implications for principals is offered as a framework for how to implement a shared leadership style that will impact teachers and students. Transformational principals know how to build associations with fellow teachers in order to further the mission of the school. Through the lens of trust theory an examination of trust on principal-teacher relationships is considered. While the literature review presents a convincing case for transformational leadership and the need for quality relationships in schools, an examination of how these two constructs intersect and impact teacher leadership is the focal point of this study.

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Introduction Can the current school structure be saved? That is the question that resonates throughout the halls of today's schools as our nation faces changing times. Teachers today face high unemployment, greater expectations of student success, and ever increasing class sizes. In addition, many schools face looming threats of takeover from the state if they are unsuccessful at meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals by means of maintaining AYP standards in language arts and mathematics for two consecutive years (California Department of Education, 2010). For many, school reform is no longer an option. It is a mandate. Yet, this data-driven approach may not be the answer to improving education. According to Ross and Gray (2006) and Whitaker (2010) this solution, which is vital to saving our educational system, is forcing administrators to consider the many demands placed on teachers when implementing school-wide programs of transformation. This transformation is an attempt to overhaul traditional methods of teaching while encouraging teacher leaders to take up the cause and join the reform efforts.

Statement of the Problem The 21st century restructuring of school administration encourages teams of teachers to acquire leadership roles (Chrispeels, Castillo, & Brown, 2000; DarlingHammond, 1990; Lieberman, Saxl, & Miles, 1988). It is well known that neither 1 superintendents nor principals can effectively execute the leadership task alone.

Successful leaders must strongly consider the development of teacher leaders (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004). Twenty-first century school administrators must consider ways to harness the benefits of quality leadership through the teachers they lead. Teacher participation is a critical component to changing the direction of school effectiveness (Chrispeels et al., 2000; Darling-Hammond, 1990;

Lieberman et al., 1988). By definition a teacher is a leader, however not all teachers accept this role and develop it. For a school to reach its highest potential, many leaders believe that at some point all teachers need to assume leadership positions (Chrispeels et al., 2000; Jantzi & Leithwood, 1995).

Many times a school is most invested in the growth of students but rarely looks at the growth of teachers (Fullan, 2008; Sergiovanni, 1991). Today's schools need leaders that are invested in the forward movement of the school, as shown through the best practices of its teaching staff. Through teacher leadership norms of collective responsibility are developed resulting in continuous school wide improvement (Lucas, 2002). As teachers internalize goals and support each other, they become strongly committed to the school's mission because they have a vested interest in the outcome (Ross & Gray, 2006).

Research on teacher leadership shows how creating a professional school culture is vital in helping a school staff develop a collaborative community invested in continuous improvement. Katzenmeyer and Moller (2009) outline seven characteristics of

school culture that support teacher leadership:

1. A developed focus where teachers are coached;

2. Teacher recognition for their contributions as leaders;

3. Teacher encouragement to take risks and be autonomous about assuming

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4. Collegiality as a norm of practice;

5. Teacher participation in decision making about important matters;

6. Effective communication between and among teachers; and

7. A positive work environment where teachers feel supported.

Creating a true definition of teacher leader proved difficult for Katzenmeyer and Moller (2009) who support the notion that the definition of the teacher leader is constantly evolving: from their studies they write “Teacher leaders lead within and beyond the classroom; identify with and contribute to a community of teacher learners and leaders;

influence others towards improved educational practice; and accept responsibility for achieving the outcome of their leadership” (p. 6).

The concept of teacher leadership is recognized as being synonymous with school improvement (Angelle & Schmid, 2007) therefore supporting the idea that teacher leadership is not a new concept (Reeves, 2008). According to Reeves "teachers not only exert significant influence on the performance of students, but they also influence the performance of other teachers and school leaders" (p. 2), consequently establishing the need for today’s schools to promote effective change efforts through teacher leadership.

Supporting and sustaining teachers in leadership roles. Accordingly, educators must ask, "What is the role of the teacher leader and how is the teacher leader best supported?” In 2000, Cranston defined teacher leadership as those teachers "who are willing to work alongside building principals to envision a better future, foster hope and honesty, tackle obstacles and impediments, and build community while improving the educational climate" (p. 773).

Harris (2003) makes reference to the informal and formal roles of teacher leaders.

Informal roles encompass planning, goal-setting, and classroom activities whereas formal roles encompass department head and subject coordinator positions that may periodically remove the teacher leader from the classroom setting. Many teachers who perform these tasks do not label themselves as teacher leaders and save the title leader for principals or district supervisors. Most believe their work is done informally through collaborative efforts (Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009).

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