Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Robert L. Infantino, EdD, Director; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD; Joseph C. Rost, PhD


education, Leadership studies, mentor teachers, shared instructional leadership, southern California, teaching


Can implementation of a mentor teacher program create instructional leadership opportunities resulting in retention of talented and dedicated educators, eliminate teacher isolation, and promote teacher empowerment, collegiality, and teacher and administrator collaboration? The purposes of this research were to determine the extent to which mentor teachers have become instructional leaders and to show activities and interactions in which mentors demonstrated instructional leadership with colleagues within one district. The research examined a sample number of formal and informal key relationships. Six research questions examined qualitative interview data and quantitative survey questionnaire data from mentor teachers, teachers who may or may not have been served by mentors, principals, the district officials in charge of the mentor program, and a teacher association official. 1. Did the mentor teachers create real, intended change for other teachers? 2. Did the experience of being a mentor teacher provide opportunities for mentors to become better teachers themselves? 3. Did the training provided mentor teachers, along with the potential for shared instructional leadership afforded by the training, change existing norms of teaching and administrator collaboration? 4. Did the California Mentor Teacher Program help reduce teacher isolation through teacher collaboration? 5. Did the mentor teachers satisfy the needs and wants of themselves, other teachers, and the principal through the sharing of instructional leadership? 6. What power resources did the mentor teachers use to exert leadership? The results indicated that most teachers in this study who worked with mentors felt more positive about themselves and about teaching. They learned new teaching techniques. Staff development training for mentors, especially in workshop presentations, conferencing, and peer coaching skills with teachers, changed norms for working with some teachers and principals. Other training, such as lesson organization, helped mentors in their own class settings. Two criteria influenced whether a mentor and teacher continued working together over time: the mentor's ongoing relationship in building rapport and trust, and the teacher's perceptions of the mentor's teaching skills. The study concludes with a series of implications, recommendations, and suggestions for further research which can strengthen the mentor and other incentive programs.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access