Date

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership

First Adviser

Sperandio, Jill

Other advisers/committee members

Beachum, Floyd; Sawyer, Brook; Nicolson, Malcolm

Abstract

The increasing complexity of tasks confronting formal instructional leaders (FILs) in K-12 schools has led to a growing need for the distribution of leadership. This paper investigated the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme Coordinators' (IBMYPCs') perceptions of their (a) FILs' commitment to distributed leadership (DL), (b) the extent to which coordinators felt supported by their instructional leaders, and (c) how those variables correlated with coordinators' role clarity and professional self-efficacy. I applied a mixed methods design by collecting quantitative and qualitative data. The research instrument was the distributed leadership correlates inventory (DLCI). The sampling method was stratified systematic random sampling. Demographic and school structural variables became part of the analysis to test whether these variables could explain the correlations uncovered by the tests of the research hypotheses. Results supported the theory that FILs' commitment to DL and support for the Middle Years Program Coordinator (MYPC) would bring about greater role clarity and improved feelings of professional self-efficacy for the MYPC. The study's key findings reinforced the necessity for FILs to have a detailed and comprehensive understanding of DL, which could be obtained through professional development and networking. The study also reinforced the idea that FILs must demonstrate support of MYPCs. Suggestions made for future practices by schools included educating the community on DL at the IB authorization stage, with suitable follow-up by the IB to ensure it is occurring in schools. Future researchers who continue this line of inquiry could look at possible correlations between middle-level leaders' professional self-efficacy and the effect on student learning and achievement. Further research is needed to explore the reasons why FILs seem to support MYPCs more in the area of teaming and less in the area of job tasks. Finally, this study could be replicated with other groups of coordinators in the IB programs and other instructional programs that mandate similar roles.

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