Nykia Smith


Do professional development sessions in charter schools produce teacher leaders? This is the main question examined in this study. Professional development was established to help with the leadership process and increase teachers’ capacities overall. Teacher leaders have been deemed as incredibly important to student success and school reformation. Knowing these facts, the researcher sought to probe the utility of professional development in terms of teacher leadership at a charter school whose main intent was reformation. Through a review of the literature, the defining factors for complicated matter such as professional development and teacher leadership were outlined. The literature review helped the researcher look into the parameters of professional development and teacher leadership at what has been given the pseudonym Variety High School. A sociological case study was carried out at Variety High School during the second semester of the 2013-2014 school year. Analysis of focus group interviews, case study observations, and archival documentation were used to examine the impact of professional development on teacher leadership at Variety High School. While there were instances where professional development and teacher leadership were defined and linked to student success, the absence of teacher leadership opportunities was also linked to professional development practices governed by administrative principles. Ultimately, professional development was seen as a powerful tool to increase or decrease more than just leadership for a teacher but quality and skill in general.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; High school teachers -- In-service training -- California; Teacher effectiveness; Educational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Garcia-Ramos, Reyna;