Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Instructional Leadership

Major Advisor

Robert Villanova

Associate Advisor

Sarah Woulfin

Associate Advisor

Richard Gonzales

Field of Study

Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)


Doctor of Education

Open Access

Campus Access


As a result of the increased focus on the support necessary to increase instructional leadership capacity, new roles at the central office level have been created to develop principals as instructional leaders. This study investigated the district’s role in increasing the capacity of the Associate Superintendents for Instructional Leadership to carry out their work with principals. The role of districts in educational reform, instructional leadership and student achievement, and the implications of workplace learning to improve Associate Superintendents for Instructional Leadership competencies provided a framework for this qualitative case study. Process-oriented learning activities, consistent with Illeris’ theory of learning as competence development, were identified as being supportive of increasing Associate Superintendents for Instructional Leadership capacities in developing principals’ instructional leadership to improve teaching and learning. Inconsistencies were noted in the practices, the district implemented to provide support, structures, and activities designed to engage Associate Superintendents for Instructional Leadership in learning. Learning is reliant on the context, motivation, and interactions between members in the workplace (Illeris, 2010); school district leaders must purposefully attend to the processes and structures within central office to deliberately increase the capacity of members of their central office instructional leadership support personnel. Recommendations for district leadership include (a) determine the role and responsibility of a core group of central office leadership members to develop, design, and facilitate professional learning for principals’ support and evaluation, (b) design a professional learning development plan as a framework to increase the capacity of Associate Superintendents’ for Instructional Leadership. Identify high leverage instructional leadership competencies that are associated with improving teaching and learning, (c) design professional learning activities aligned to the components in Illeris’ theory of competence development, and (d) provide job-embedded supports to support capacity development.