Date of Conferral







Ruby Burgess


State and federal mandates designed to increase student learning and development through principal instructional leadership are based on research that demonstrates the potential benefits teacher collaboration can have on teacher efficacy, school culture, and student learning; however, many principals are inadequately trained for instructional leadership roles that utilize collaboration. The problem this study investigated is the lack of research about successful instructional leaders using collaboration to increase the instructional capacity of the teachers in high-achieving, suburban high schools. High-quality teaching is important and requires the collective skills and expertise of well-trained teachers. The organizational development theories of McGregor, the adult learning theory of Knowles, and the Tyler rationale served as the conceptual framework and basis for the research questions. This multiple-case study examined cases of three principals and four teachers successfully using collaborative relationships to increase the instructional capacity of their schools. The three research questions focused on understanding how principals experience, plan, utilize and evaluate collaborative relationships to increase the instructional capacity of teachers. Semi-structured participant interviews and corresponding document data were analyzed and coded. Individual cases were cross-case analyzed. The principals were found to gain teacher “buy in,” use administrative authority and duties to enable collaboration, empower teachers, and effectively have “tough conversations.” Social change implications include recommendations for developing supportive learning communities that utilize professional capital to increase the instructional capacity and efficacy of teachers.