Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning



Content Description

1 online resource (ii, xiii, 226 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Virginia Goatley

Committee Members

Cheryl Dozier, Donna Scanlon


Literacy, Professional development, Reading, Specialized literacy professionals, Teacher leadership, Reading teachers, Language arts teachers, Educational leadership, Career development

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Leadership | Elementary Education


This dissertation reports on how one school community engaged in a professional development grant initiative that incorporated teacher leadership. Teacher leaders may have numerous roles and responsibilities that support the professional learning and instructional practices of school communities. This study examined the experiences of three specialized literacy professionals as teacher leaders and professional development facilitators. Case study methodology (Merriam, 1998; Stake, 2005; Yin, 2009) and the six principles of adult learning (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2005) provided a framework to capture the contextual and descriptive practices of how these teacher leaders navigated their roles and responsibilities. Three important findings emerged from this study: (a) stakeholders’ visions of teacher leadership framed the roles and responsibilities of teacher leadership positions; (b) on-going professional development, web-enhanced learning tools, and administrative guidance were critical to support and prepare professionals for teacher leadership roles; and (c) professional expertise influenced how the teacher leaders facilitated teacher learning. The results of this study have the potential to inform the literacy education community about new approaches to professional development for teacher leaders, suggest implications for teacher leaders as literacy leaders and professional development facilitators, and offer information on how to formalize and define the current practices of teacher leaders.