Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
The roles and responsibilities of teacher leaders change as schools, districts, and states adopt new policies, procedures, and initiatives. However, little qualitative research has been conducted about how teachers develop leadership skills, particularly during preservice preparation programs. The purpose of this single case study was to explore how a community of practice prepared college graduates to be teacher leaders. The conceptual framework was based on the concepts of situated learning, communities of practice and legitimate peripheral participation. Four graduates from a state teaching program were purposefully selected as participants. Data were collected from multiple sources, including initial and follow-up interviews with program graduates, observations of their leadership activities in public schools, archival data, and program documents. Analysis consisted of multilevel coding, category construction, and determination of emergent themes and discrepant data to inform key findings. Findings suggested that the Southern State Teaching Program prepared its graduates to serve as teacher leaders through situated learning opportunities and the development, practice, and refinement of skills necessary for leading others. The program also offered peripheral participation in the program and the teaching profession. Implications for positive social change include the potential for including teacher leader development programs at the preservice level, which may ultimately improve teacher retention and student achievement.