Considering Distributed Leadership And Its Effects On Teacher Leadership Practices And Student Achievement

Justin Finney, Columbus State University



This dissertation examined the construct of distributed leadership in schools. This work presents the results of a theory building study investigating the following research questions: (a) In schools, is there a relationship between distributed leadership practices and increased student achievement? (b) How does distributed leadership shape and inform the experiences, practices, and agency of teachers and school administrators within a school that espouses a distributed paradigm with regard to its leadership and management practices? These questions were considered through a longitudinal mixed methods study of the leadership practices at Grantham Middle School and Bishop Elementary. The findings suggest that distributed leadership practices do enhance the agency of teachers within the leadership structures of schools. Likewise the findings suggest that teaching and learning are enhanced at schools that employ distributed leadership practices. Finally, findings in this study reveal that student achievement did improve at each participant school. Chapter 5 presents an examination of the implications of this study and new images of distributed leadership in schools.