Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. John Nash


In an effort to address diverse needs in K-12 education, policymakers have proposed initiatives to increase the leadership opportunities for classroom teachers. Although teachers have undertaken leadership roles in schools throughout history, the notion of teacher leadership spurred by policy is in the emergent stages. As educators and leaders in various roles implement teacher leadership policy, learning must ensue at both an individual and collective level to adapt schools to a new model of leadership.

This study examined how district-level teacher leader coordinators in one Iowa region came to understand their role as leaders. A case study approach illuminated the experience of these individuals as Iowa teacher leadership policy was initially implemented. Data were collected through the use of interviews, observations, and document reviews. Participants included district-level teacher leader coordinators and regional leaders supporting teacher leadership to gain insights from multiple levels of policy implementation.

The findings of this study identified themes for sensemaking and leading within the teacher leader coordinator’s role. The study revealed that coordinators were guided in learning their new teacher leadership roles through both formal policy guidance and informal interactions with leaders and peers. Coordinators enacted their leadership roles in a bridge building capacity, linking other teacher leaders to resources and modeling leadership processes and actions.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)