|dc.description.abstract||This study examined teacher leaders’ and administrators’ perceptions of a leadership capacity building program. The need for developing teacher leaders and enhancing the skills of practicing school administrators has gained the attention of policymakers, school administrators, and education professors. Reform initiatives suggest that there is a need for teachers to share in the leadership of schools. Teachers and principals both need to develop their own professional skills and the organizational capacity to be engaged in collaborative leadership roles. Further, for teachers to engage in these leadership efforts, they need to feel empowered to do so.
This study examined a leadership capacity building program in four Alabama county school systems referred to throughout the study as District A, District B, District C, and District D . The program provided services for students’ leaders, teachers leaders, assistant principals, principals, and central office administrators. However, this research focused on the perceptions of the adult participants and included superintendents, central office administrators, principals, assistant principals and teachers. The four counties studied are rural with few economic or industrial resources.
The research was conducted using a mixed methods design including a survey, focus groups with participants, and researcher field notes. Findings indicate that participants were receptive to the concepts and activities in the leadership capacity building program and that participation was beneficial. The benefits of the program included increased collaboration among
teachers and administrators; job embedded professional development, and the identification and recognition of teacher leaders.
The findings concluded that the program was beneficial because teachers and principals are able to better utilize skills and new knowledge to improve student learning conditions. However, the extent to which each of the leadership skills was developed in participants varied according to the participant. This study has implications for policymakers and other school districts interested in developing teacher leaders.
The leadership development opportunities for leaders appear to be cost effective for districts. Findings indicate that this leadership capacity building program provided opportunities for professional growth, formally and informally, which in turn may improve working conditions and relationships within the schools. This program may also be beneficial in resolving some of the unemployment concerns for viable administrative candidates residing within these school districts.||en