Date of Award



© 2017 Sharron Helmke

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Peter Harrison

Third Advisor

Lauren Ambeau


This qualitative case study examined conversations and interactions between an intermediate school principal and a team of content specific instructional coaches to investigate the presence of shared instructional leadership and how the interactions and responses of the two actors might support teachers’ professional growth and refinement of instructional practices. An initial interview with the campus principal was used to establish her goals for instructional leadership. Over a six-week period, these goals were tracked through observations and coding of weekly meetings between the principal and coaches and then traced through the coaches’ work with teachers. Findings indicated that the principal was attempting to utilize shared leadership to augment her instructional leadership, but that the results were contingent upon the quality of the leadership team’s internal dynamics as well as the strength of focus on the desired goals. Instructional coaches were utilized by both the principal and the teachers as intermediaries of instructional leadership. One coach maintained a strong goal focus, which teachers perceived as very supportive to their growth, resulting in gains of approximately 30 points for struggling students.


Ed.D. Dissertation