Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Historically, being self-reflective has not been evidenced as critical to the career advancement of teachers aspiring to leadership roles. Five teacher leaders in a southwestern school district participated in a district Teacher Leadership Certificate Program (TLCP), which included self-reflective practices to broaden their understanding of the tools necessary to be an effective leader in 21st century schools. Theories of change suggest that teachers must acquire new knowledge and apply this new knowledge in practice. The theoretical framework for this project study was Mezirow's transformative learning theory. A narrative design was employed to identify the change process experienced by the 5 teacher leaders using elements of transformational theory. A questionnaire, observation protocol, and multiple interview instruments were used to examine 1 elementary and 4 secondary school teacher leaders, concluding with an essay. Interviews focused on the perceptions of the participants through inquiry that described their transformation to leaders as agents of change. Emergent themes were identified from the data through open coding and thematic analysis. Themes included teachers using self-reflection to enhance leadership goals and career development. The subsequent project was a 3 day professional development for all teachers at the study site on developing teacher leadership. The implications for promoting positive social change include providing research results to the local site on the use of self-reflection practices of teacher leaders and supporting professional development to improve teacher leadership educational practices.