School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Primary Subject Area
Education, General; Education, Administration; Education, Teacher Training
Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Teacher Education and Professional Development
Putman, Leigh, "Using Shared Leadership to Achieve School Improvement Goals: A Qualitative Study of One High School's Journey" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 639.
This qualitative phenomenological study examined the impact of shared leadership committees on school improvement efforts. The research identified which leadership factors lead to successful shared leadership committees and which supports and structures were needed for the committees to be meaningful in regards to school improvement. Certified staff who had been a part of the shared leadership committees at one high school in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia took part in the study. The participants were divided according to the committee on which they served and two were randomly selected two from each committee for participation in the study. All study participants completed an information gathering survey and some participated in personal interviews, focus groups, or observations with the primary researcher. These educators were selected because they experienced the phenomenon being examined. Surveys and interviews indicated that participants knew that there was a mission or vision statement, but could not articulate what it was. The surveys also indicated that most teachers felt that they could participate in the school-wide decision making process if they desired to do so. In addition, the surveys detected that there was a culture of respect between teachers, but not between teachers and administration. There was also a feeling amongst teachers that there was no time for collaboration on issues of school improvement or instruction. For these reasons, school improvement was not positively impacted by the school's shared leadership committees. Results strongly demonstrated that shared leadership committees in general are very likely to be unsuccessful unless there is time dedicated during the school day for the committees to meet, there is a well-defined purpose for the committees, there is a choice for each staff member of which committee to serve on, there is administration involvement and oversight of the work of the committees, and there is value attached to the work of the committees.