Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


This self-study examined my leadership practices as a principal and researcher. Herr and Anderson (2005) define self-study as "a focus on one's own personal and professional self." Through reflective analysis of my leadership practices, the Instructional Leadership and Grade Level Teams were supported with protocols and leadership methods to improve literacy instruction at middle grades. Upon reflection, concerns existed regarding inadequate and inconsistent student growth through the lens of school wide assessments. The examination of student data, root cause identification, and the development and monitoring of action items assisted to investigate my analysis of this concern. The significance of this study demonstrated how examination of my leadership methods improved achievement in literacy at middle grades. This self-study reviewed scholarly literature about the history of education, American public education, schools in an urban environment, middle school, leadership in schools and the role of principals. Additional review of instructional leadership, Instructional Leadership teams, effects of leadership on student achievement, assessments and the achievement gap are included. Based on the conceptual framework of leadership defined by John Kotter's (2012), Eight-Stage Process of Creating Major Change, the findings of this self-study examined my leadership practices and decisions. This self-study included my reflection of data analysis from district wide assessment, the Illinois Interactive Report Card and the Five Essentials Survey. Reflections of my journal logs, agendas and minutes from Instructional Leadership and grade level teams and review of exit slips from professional development assisted me to understand the teacher's learning and work. The conclusions from the research provided strategies to facilitate Instructional Leadership and Grade Level meetings necessary for improving teaching and learning in literacy in middle grades. The implications of this study identified the importance of understanding school culture, data analysis, data transparency, instructional collaboration, while increasing teacher ownership to build instructional capacity.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.