Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Tricia Browne-Ferrigno

Abstract

Twenty-first century schools are complex organizations that serve individual students’ needs while meeting accountability and assessment demands. Effective leadership balances these diverse responsibilities through collective work of the shareholders in order to assure high levels of learning for all.

This qualitative study examined Response to Intervention (RTI) implementation in two high performing high schools in Kentucky. Both schools were classified as distinguished on the 2014-15 Kentucky School Report Card. One school has a long-standing tradition of high performance. The other school’s journey to high performance involved moving from a Needs Improvement School to a School of Distinction.

The 4-D Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Theory was used to explore the collective leadership practices of the two high schools. Data collection instruments and protocols followed the four AI phases (discover, dream, design, and deliver). Data were collected through observations, site visits, artifact reviews, individual interviews and and focus groups. The effective schools characteristics, RTI core traits, and collective leadership practices provided the context for the study design.

In studying the RTI implementation process, evidence of effective schools characteristics, RTI core traits, and collective leadership practices were observed. Both schools focused intentionally on core instruction as an integral part of the RTI implementation process. The data concluded that the schools continue to make progress in meeting more students’ needs. Both schools have strategic plans to discover, dream, design, and deliver new ways to maximize the collective strengths of the school community. Evidence of each phase of AI emerged in the stories, conversations, and artifacts at both schools.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.390

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