Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Mark Larson

Second Advisor

Tema Okun

Third Advisor

Sarah Levine


The focus of this study is to explore the role of the school leader, specifically the principal, in leading instructional change and supporting teachers throughout the change process. Building instructional capacity across a school building is an essential role for a school leader, but also requires ownership and agency on the part of teachers to be active partners in realizing change. The process of full-scale change impacts members of the school community in different ways. Identifying the predictable patterns of adult responses often associated with change can help the instructional leader anticipate the supports necessary to keep the change moving forward. The social-emotional impact change has on individuals should not be underestimated; the need for affirmation, reduction of stress, and resources and support are equally important as a compelling vision. Teachers as are diverse as the students they teach and require differentiated professional development and time to adjust to new expectations. Building infrastructure that supports continuous improvement is key to sustainable change. Without appropriate structures and clear expectations, the changes will not endure.