Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Christopher R Gareis

Committee Member

Steven M Constantino

Committee Member

Margaret E Constantino


Research shows that providing teacher leadership opportunities has a positive influence on the capacity building of teachers and is an effective strategy to retain effective teacher leaders. Current reform efforts include creating sustainable career pathways that provide teachers the opportunity to grow professionally while leading from the classroom. However, present trends depict low returns on investment from professional learning programs resulting in reduced funding. The purpose of this study was to determine if Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) human capital investment approach in the M-DCPS Teacher LEADership Academy (TLA) strengthens the capacity of teacher leaders to lead professional learning while retaining them in the classroom. An Innovation Configuration Map was used to determine fidelity of implementation to purposively select the study sample. Building administrators, teacher leaders, and teachers from the selected schools completed a nine question Likert scale survey to determine their perceptions regarding the value of the academy. Using semi-structured focus groups, data were also gathered regarding the capacity of teacher leaders to lead professional learning and the impact of the M-DCPS TLA on their decision to lead from the classroom. The findings from the study support and extend the literature on best practices in human capital development regarding teacher leaders who can support and influence teaching and learning for their colleagues through greater involvement in school leadership. We recommend that school districts make an investment in formalizing teacher leader roles that foster collaborative, job-embedded professional learning that is sustained over time to impact teaching and learning.



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