This study investigated classroom-based mathematics teacher leader (CBMTL) development through analysis of interview and focus group transcripts, results from a Mathematics Teacher Leadership Experiences survey, application materials, and an evaluation report for an equity-focused, research-to-practice doctoral program centered on developing CBMTLs. A multiple case study was conducted to interpret and understand how K-8 mathematics teachers identified and described ways in which their participation in the program developed them as CBMTLs. Findings suggest that mathematics teachers develop as mathematics teacher leaders in stages and highlight the effectiveness of the research-to-practice partnership model as an impactful pathway for developing CBMTLs. Themes from the study suggest that teachers' identity construction as CBMTLs increases with participation in research-to-practice partnership programs and should be examined from multiple theoretical approaches to include the post-structural, positioning, and narrative approaches. The study also suggests that motivation to teach and lead is linked to experiences teacher leaders have had as learners and doers of mathematics and it highlights participation in research-to-practice partnership programs as a factor for improving teachers' abilities to advance effective mathematics teaching practices. Recommendations were made to clearly distinguish between formal and informal mathematics teacher leadership roles. Mathematics teacher leadership roles can be used to describe any formal roles positioned to support mathematics teachers and mathematics teaching, such as mathematics instructional coach or elementary mathematics specialist. The classroom-based mathematics teacher leader role is assigned specifically to mathematics teachers functioning in leadership capacities while maintaining full-time classroom teacher responsibilities. Continued research is suggested to examine varied implementations of the research-to-practice partnership model as a pathway to CBMTL development with a specific focus on research-to-practice partnership models that are more inclusive of school-based leaders.


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Graduation Date





Dixon, Juli


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


School of Teacher Education

Degree Program

Education; Math Education


CFE0009788; DP0027896





Release Date

August 2024

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until August 2024; it will then be open access.