The Impact of Distributed Leadership and Teacher Leader Development on Principal Use of Time

Laura Dubak, Fordham University


It is acknowledged that principal leadership, particularly principals as instructional leaders, is critical to student achievement and the success of a school, yet the roles principals are expected to take on in schools are varied. Principal time use is divided among an array of tasks and responsibilities that often do not leave adequate time or energy to focus on instructional leadership. The problem could be approached through time management, but consideration also needs to be given to how instructional leadership is embodied by the principal as well as developed throughout the system. Principal use of time in practice does not systematically focus on developing teacher leaders or distributed instructional leadership. For principals to devote time to instructional leadership, time already spent with teachers needs to be redirected towards systematic training of teacher leaders who can work with smaller groups of teachers to enact larger scale improvement. Teacher leaders are a high-leverage area of impact whereby principals working directly and intentionally to develop those leaders can have an exponential impact on the reach of instructional improvement. This mixed-method case study focused on two key areas for the intervention design: distribution of principal responsibilities and teacher instructional leadership development. The two-pronged theory of action that guided the study is that if principals spend time strategically distributing leadership and developing teacher leaders who can be responsible for quality instructional improvement, principals will be able to devote their time to high-quality instructional leadership activities that contribute to long-term school improvement.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Education|Educational administration

Recommended Citation

Dubak, Laura, "The Impact of Distributed Leadership and Teacher Leader Development on Principal Use of Time" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29168735.