Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Catherine O'Callaghan

Second Advisor

Dr. William Glass

Third Advisor

Dr. Rita Bongarten


The purpose of this study was to explore the leadership styles and actions of elementary school principals observed during implementations of new writing curricula designed to increase content and rigor of the curricula in alignment with mandated reforms. The multiple-case study included four urban elementary schools affiliated with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP). Participants included four principals, three language arts coaches, and 64 classroom teachers. Data were collected through observations and three tools: the Level of Use interview protocol, the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, and the Teachers Writing Survey. Five themes emerged from the analysis: (a) principals build writing schemas through acquisition of writing knowledge, (b) principals prioritize grade-level team meetings for collaborative learning around writing practices, (c) principals construct a culture of trust for teachers to promote risk taking and problem solving, (d) principals set writing goals and monitor fidelity of implementation, and (e) principals navigate tension among and between principals and teachers. The significance of each theme and its implication for researchers and practitioners are discussed. The five themes were interconnected and the Integrative Leadership Style Model for Curriculum Implementation emerged.