Date

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership

First Adviser

Sperandio, Jill

Other advisers/committee members

Wiseman, Alex; Columba-Piervallo, Lynn; Fayad, David

Abstract

This study aims to examine the influences of national culture and organizational culture on teacher perceptions of distributed leadership (DL) in the context of US-accredited schools in Colombia. On a global scale, many schools and districts, as well as educational researchers, have begun to take a closer look at DL, a model of school leadership in which teachers participate directly in many or all of the school leadership functions. This paper demonstrates the motivators and inhibitors which have influenced the implementation of DL experiments in four English-speaking countries which share a common cultural and educational background: the US, UK, Canada, and Australia (CASK). Cross cultural empirical evidence from previous studies is used to propose a structural framework in which CASK teachers demonstrate a greater acceptance of DL than their Colombian counterparts, and in which Colombian teachers working in a US-accredited school demonstrate greater acceptance of DL than those who work in schools with predominantly Colombian organizational culture. A mixed-method study design is used to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the perceptions of teachers from a Colombian and from a CASK background regarding the involvement of teachers in supportive and supervisory school leadership functions. The findings indicate Colombian teachers to be more accepting of DL than their CASK counterparts, a conclusion in direct opposition to the study´s original structural framework. All teachers expressed a desire to share strengths to act as the strongest motivator for DL, and a lack of additional time to act as the strongest inhibitor. Suggestions are made for future practices by schools and for future research in the area of cross-cultural perceptions of leadership.

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