Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Zinser

Second Advisor

Dr. William J. Pearch

Third Advisor

Dr. Carl A. Woloszyk


The purpose of this study was to describe and interpret the experiences of community college teachers in order to understand their perception of theirleadership role and the impact of teacher leadership on institutional governance and student success. This research addressed gaps in the teacher leadershipliterature by contributing a quantitative analysis of the leadership perceptions of community college faculty. The results of the study should be of interest tocommunity college faculty and administrators, teacher educators and teacher preparation institutions, and policy makers as they work to implement change efforts related to curriculum and instruction, professional development, institutional leadership, and governance.

Chapter 1 discusses the evolution of the American public education system, the major reform efforts of the past quarter century, federal support for higher education, federal accountability measures, and the emergence of distributed leadership. Chapter 2 categorizes leadership models in education into three broad domains, teacher leadership is then defined and positioned in this leadership matrix, and various teacher leadership models are described. The perceptions of teacher leaders about their experiences, factors that motivate teachers to become leaders, success factors, barriers, and the reported benefits ofteacher leadership are discussed; the relationship between teacher leadership and institutional effectiveness and student achievement is explored, as well as implications for pre-service teacher education and professional development.

Chapter 3 analyzes the results of the 1999 National Study of Post-Secondary Faculty (NSOPSF:99) to explore differences in community college teachers' perceptions of their leadership role relative to instructional issues in the classroom versus institutional (non-instructional, school-wide) issues, as well asteacher characteristics, school characteristics and socio-demographic characteristics, and measures of job satisfaction. The relevant data for this study was extracted from the NSOPSF:99 dataset ( n = 4,632). Results of statistical tests were organized by research question and described in detail in Chapter 4. Significant correlations were highlighted, and the coefficient of determination calculated to identify the variation in responses to the dependent variables that could be explained by each of the independent variables studied. The study concludes with a discussion of findings in Chapter 5, and includes recommendations for future research.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access