A voice from the classroom : an autoethnographic study of a mathematics teacher's development to teacher leader Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5712m9239

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  • The focus of this autoethnography was an in-depth analysis of the recorded experiences of a middle school math teacher's transitional development from classroom teacher, to teacher leader. The following research questions guided this study: (1) In what ways did the researcher’s view of self as a teacher leader change during the year? (2) What dilemmas and feelings arose as a result of developing as a teacher leader? (3) What experiences and factors either supported or hindered the process of becoming a teacher leader? Results revealed the researcher’s view of leadership changed significantly during the study. Leadership characteristics found as helpful to changing leadership identity included trustworthiness, persistence, and metacognition. In addition, facilitating a common vision, engaging in transparent leadership, and sharing responsibilities for leadership allowed the researcher to see herself as an agent of change capable of providing transformative learning experiences for others. The researcher used reflective journal entries collected throughout one school year as well as an audiotaped interview of a focus group comprising other teacher leaders as the main sources of data in this research. To determine categories and common themes, qualitative data were coded in several iterations and cycles. During the study, the researcher moved beyond her efforts with students to begin influencing team colleagues, school colleagues, and, eventually, colleagues beyond her school. As that leadership identity transitioned, the researcher found that adopting a lead-by-example and lead-learner stance best supported her work with colleagues. Because of changing leadership identity, the researcher experienced feelings of uncertainty, ineffectualness, loneliness, disappointment, hopefulness, and self-doubt. As the leadership role expanded, the researcher experienced jealously and uncomfortable feelings from colleagues. The structural dilemmas impacting leadership growth were time, access to work with colleagues, and administrative support. Throughout the year, several factors both supported and hindered the transition from teacher to that of teacher leader. Factors supporting that transition were continuous learning, creating a supportive environment, developing a community of practice, focusing on collective goals, and visiting colleagues' classrooms. Experiences and factors hindering the process of becoming a teacher leader included self-doubt, no clearly defined role, lack of communication with administration, lack of colleague buy-in, and time limitations. The question, "What does it take to be a teacher leader who remains steeped in the work of mathematics teaching?" is an important one for this study. The research identified factors affecting teacher leadership in four areas--factors in which one has control over and are directly related to self, factors directly related to one's work with colleagues, factors involving administration, and factors that are more structural in nature. While the study was conducted within the context of mathematics, it is believed the research has applications related to teacher leadership in any content area as well as for administrators, professional development leaders, and for teacher leaders.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2014-01-03T17:28:04Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) KnappMelindaC2013.pdf: 620078 bytes, checksum: 6175247c103c923d5a99a0fd1018653b (MD5) Previous issue date: 2013-11-15
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