Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

First Advisor

Charles B. Teddlie


The primary purpose of this study was to identify and examine patterns of leadership within effective middle schools. A three phase research methodology including both quantitative and qualitative techniques was utilized. Phase I of the study involved the development of the Faculty Involvement Survey. Phase II was conducted with a sample of 46 differentially effective 6th-8th grade middle schools in Louisiana. Data collection for this phase consisted of the administration of the Faculty Involvement Survey which was aimed at determining the instructional leadership structure of the school. Four leadership patterns ranging from principal only to overall faculty involvement were identified. Based upon the results of these surveys, a smaller sample of four effective middle schools across the state were selected that were representative of the leadership structures of the schools in the Phase II sample. Phase III of the data collection included the development of case studies of the leadership structures and behaviors in the four selected effective middle schools. These case studies were developed through on-site visits to the schools which included observations, interviews, and Social Network Analysis. The findings of this study indicate differences in the leadership patterns in low-SES and mid-SES middle schools. Instructional leadership in effective mid-SES middle schools was found to be more likely to be shared by faculty members rather than to be the solitary activity of the principal as was more common in low-SES schools of the same type. These results confirm results of earlier studies in effective elementary schools which indicate variation in the roles of the principals in these schools based upon the SES of the school. In addition, the results of this study indicate that teacher leadership activities continue to primarily involve those activities traditionally regarded as instructional in nature, while administrative members of the school team have maintained authority over those areas involving the daily management of the school. Additionally, the results from the Social Network Analyses indicate that communication networks of schools in which shared leadership is practiced are less cohesive and less centralized than has traditionally been expected in effective schools.