An insider voice: *Leading as a teacher

Diane Waff, University of Pennsylvania


In this autobiographical dissertation, I critically examine my story as a teacher, school leader, and administrator working in the midst of district wide standards driven reform efforts in Philadelphia (1988-1999) and Trenton (2000-2004). In the process I inquire into the constraints and possibilities of school reform from my vantage point as an African American female teacher/leader/administrator. I analyze the journey I took from personal/private theorizing to publicly theorizing about classroom, school and district practices with colleagues in inquiry communities on both local and national levels. Using narrative inquiry and feminist and critical methodologies, I study the local school reform landscape analyzing my own transition over more than a decade from isolated classroom teacher to school leader and administrator. Drawing upon a range of data sources, I lay out my own understandings of school reform, making connections, discerning relational links, and identifying processes and patterns that heighten critical awareness of the relationships among teacher leadership, practitioner inquiry and the transformation of educational settings and practices. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of this work for practitioners, researchers and policy makers.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Waff, Diane, "An insider voice: *Leading as a teacher" (2007). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3270868.