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Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Department or Program Affiliation

Doctor of Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education


Education Leadership and Inclusive Teaching

First Advisor

Robertson, Wayne Thomas

Second Advisor

Larsen, Donald

Third Advisor

Bruner, Carl


The positive impact of an effective school administrator cannot be understated. Research on leadership practices highlights the efficacy of distributed leadership for positive student outcomes and teacher satisfaction especially after the challenges of the pandemic. However, further research is required to understand how principals implement distributed leadership practices and the differences across school levels. The purpose of the study was to examine the engagement of elementary and secondary school administrators in the State of Washington in distributed leadership practices. Utilizing the Distributed Leadership Readiness Scale, perceptions of distributed leadership engagement were assessed across four dimensions: mission, vision, and culture; leadership practices; shared responsibility; and school culture. Findings indicate that administrators in Washington State perceive themselves as highly engaged in distributed leadership. The dimension with the highest engagement was school culture and the dimension with the lowest engagement was leadership practices. Significant differences in engagement were observed between elementary and middle schools in the dimensions of mission, vision, and goals and shared responsibility as well as between elementary and high schools in the dimension of shared responsibility. Effect sizes for these differences were small, suggesting relatively modest variations in engagement levels across school levels. The study offers valuable insights into the readiness of administrators in Washington State to engage in distributed leadership practices, emphasizing the importance of understanding and addressing potential differences in engagement across various school contexts.




Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Educational leadership--Washington (State); School administrators--Education (Elementary)--Washington (State); School administrators--Education (Middle school)--Washington (State); School administrators--Education (Secondary)--Washington (State)

Geographic Coverage

Washington (State)




doctoral dissertations




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