An Exploratory Study about the Influence of Distributed Leadership and Specialized Content Knowledge on Elementary Teacher Conversations about Mathematics Instruction Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (Ed.D., Leadership and Counseling) -- University of Idaho, 2016 | As many schools in the United States transition to the Common Core State Standards there is a greater need for teachers to have a depth of knowledge in Mathematics that allows them to address student thinking and provide important conceptual instruction in elementary school. Teachers often gain this knowledge through professional development, and it is beneficial if they are in a school environment that allows them to share this knowledge with colleagues through conversations occurring during collaboration. For these reasons, this study investigated the influence of: (1) elementary teacher specialized knowledge in mathematics gained through professional development, and (2) principal distributed leadership on the frequency of conversations about mathematics. Quantitative methodology was utilized with data collected through an online survey from 88 elementary classroom teachers. Data were analyzed using a 2x2 factorial ANOVA to determine the potential influence a teacher with specialized knowledge and/or the influence of a principal with a distributive leadership perspective on teacher conversations in mathematics. Results from this study indicate a significant interaction between the presence of a teacher with increased specialized content knowledge and administrator expectations for distributed leadership.

publication date

  • June 1, 2016