Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

James Kirylo


Early career teachers are eager to engage in leadership given supportive cultural conditions, relevant training and development, and school structures encourage all members to contribute to the teaching process. The aim of this action research study was to explore the meaning and practice of teacher leadership with 10 early career teachers through participation in an eight-week professional learning community (PLC) book study. Selected readings informed group discussion topics and reflections in journal entries. Qualitative data analysis revealed three themes that work in concert to create conditions that support teacher leadership at ABC Elementary School (ABCES): communication, professional trust, and a culture of contribution. Action steps for the local setting were developed to apply new understandings, insights, and key feedback from the participants. In response to the findings, the school principal was prompted to create more opportunities for teacher leaders and to distribute decision-making across the teaching staff.