Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donald Wattam


There is a national call for teacher leadership, which has occurred after many education reforms have struggled due to a perceived lack of teacher involvement. The purpose of this study was to examine whether teachers felt that their involvement in education policy had impact and whether there is ample teacher expertise in education policy. The overarching research question was to appraise educator perceptions of teacher impact on state education policy. The study revealed a perceived lack of teacher impact and education expertise. The conceptual framework was based on theories of adult learning and the development of expertise and supported the necessity of teacher expertise in policy discussions' because teachers are the ones who have developed classroom expertise and the potential impact of policy on classrooms. A case study methodology was applied with 5 state teachers of the year participants. The participants were from 4 states, recognized from 2012-2015, and had local, state, and national policy experience. Interviews were conducted to collect data, with direct interpretation and categorical aggregation through coding applied to analyze data during collection. After identifying a perceived lack of teacher impact, themes were identified that could create more effective impact. Themes were grouped into skills, knowledge, and dispositions that could be taught in a series of learning experiences, serving as curriculum for teachers to build expertise in policy. This project has the potential to assist educators in developing the skills, knowledge, and dispositions needed to become more effectively involved in policy. It also has the potential to create social change in the United States by assisting teachers in getting meaningfully involved in policy, thereby positively impacting public education for their students in their classrooms, schools, districts, and beyond.