This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

African American Teacher Leaders: Selection, Supports, Barriers




Greenwood, Jacquelynne

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences, if any, existed in the selection, supports and barriers to teacher leadership between African American and Caucasian teacher leaders based on the perceptions of teacher leaders and elementary school principals. Current research indicates that administrators cannot, and should not, be the only leaders in charge of school improvement. In order to maximize student learning, teachers must assume roles of leadership and take on more responsibility for school-wide change (Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2001; Saxl & Miles, 2000). The Teacher Leadership School Survey (TLSS) developed by Katzenmeyer and Moller (2009) was utilized for this study. The TLSS contains seven dimensions of support for teacher leaders. These supports include Developmental Focus, Recognition, Autonomy, Collegiality, Participation, Open Communication and Positive Environment. Participants in this study consisted of 13 principals and 16 teachers total from the East Alabama Regional Inservice Area, the Black Belt Regional Inservice Area, and the Wiregrass Regional Inservice Area. The research was conducted using a mixed methods design including a survey and open ended questions to obtain demographic data and questions relating to the thoughts and views on teacher leadership from both teachers and principals. Findings suggest that the perceptions of the participants were consistent across both ethnic groupings and there were no statistically significant differences in the selection, supports and barriers to teacher leadership, although these findings are not generalizable due to the small number of participants in this study.