Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

William C. Kyle, Jr., Ph.D., Educ Preparation & Leadership


Miriam Jorge, Ph.D.

Alina Slapac, Ed.D.


In response to addressing the increasing requirements to enhance the competencies of students and teachers, as well as the quality of schools in the global environment, the need for fostering teacher leadership has been proposed by many scholars and practitioners. School context is regarded as an important influence on the successful development of teacher leadership. While many studies related to teacher leadership have been reported in Western countries, a limited number of studies have been reported within the Chinese educational context. We also observed that among the limited studies, there was a lack of empirical research on how schools provide opportunities for teachers to exhibit teacher leadership attributes within the Chinese context. Therefore, to make up for the lack of empirical research in the context of Chinese education, this study investigated opportunities for teacher leadership development in Chinese schools. We adopted a mixed methods methodology to analyze the quantitative data from 234 surveys by snowball sampling and analyze the qualitative data from 15 Chinese senior and junior high school teachers’ interviews. The qualitative findings supported and supplemented the quantitative results, thereby substantiating how the opportunities provided by schools to develop and enhance teachers’ skills and competencies, as well as how teachers exhibited their teacher leadership attributes within the school context. Based on the results of statistical analysis and interview transcript analysis, this study demonstrated how the attributes of perception, influencing, cooperation and knowledge and skills were exhibited in the opportunities provided by schools: developmental focus to improve instructional knowledge and skills; recognition to influence teachers’ perception; autonomy to manipulate teaching in the classroom; collegiality to function in the teacher community; participation to be involved in important school-level action; open communication to dialogue for integral development; and positive environment to engage in teaching and learning. Support from the school environment is key to teacher leadership development. The findings enriched empirical research in the Chinese school context, thereby meeting the requirements for the theory and practice for the development of teacher leadership, and facilitating schools to implement supportive platforms for teachers to develop the skills and competencies associated with teacher leadership.