School and District Utilization of Mathematics Specialists Who Have Returned to the Classroom

This project will study whether elementary mathematics specialists who participated in an intensive educational program supported by DRK-12 have continued providing leadership when they returned to teaching full-time. In what ways are specialist-teachers continuing to use their leadership expertise in their school, district, and state? How do district administrators, building administrators, and teachers shape specialist-teachers' opportunities for leadership? What other factors shape these opportunities? What is the impact of specialist-teachers on their schools' leadership culture?

Full Description: 

Teacher specialists can play an important role in enhancing the content and pedagogical content knowledge of other teachers. Through NSF and other funding, a growing cadre of leaders are prepared to provide such support to other teachers. However, as districts face increasing budget constraints, administrators often reassign these specialists to full-time teaching responsibilities.

This project will study whether elementary mathematics specialists who participated in an intensive educational program supported by DRK-12 have continued providing leadership when they returned to teaching full-time. The research questions are: 1) In what ways are specialist-teachers continuing to use their leadership expertise in their school, district, and state? 2) How do district administrators, building administrators, and teachers shape specialist-teachers' opportunities for leadership? What other factors shape these opportunities? 3) What is the impact of specialist-teachers on their schools' leadership culture? Answers to these questions will help to ensure that substantial investments in leadership development continue to yield returns, even when the individuals trained are no longer in formal leadership positions.

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