Date of Award

Fall 1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Kris De Pedro

Second Advisor

Whitney McIntyre Miller

Third Advisor

Dustin Saxton


Facing the rapidly changing 21st-century education, educational organizations strive for innovative ideas to continuously motivate their teachers to enhance student performance. iLead is a district’s pioneering attempt to incorporate transformational leadership's essential elements, the four I’s, Inspirational Motivation, Idealized Influence, Intellectual Stimulation, and Individualized Consideration, into its program design and implementation to develop a collaborative learning culture through teacher motivation and the focus on improving student achievement. The iLead program has drawn statewide attention by winning the 2020 California Golden Bell Awards recently. The annual awards promote excellence in education and recognize prominent California schools’ and districts’ programs and exemplary practices which respond to the evolving needs to improve student learning.

The purpose of the dissertation research is to explore the iLead teachers’ experiences and identify their successes and challenges in becoming transformational leaders to support teaching and learning in 21st-century classrooms. It is an evaluation study using grounded theory methods. The grounded theory approach was utilized in the qualitative study to investigate the interview transcripts of iLead teachers and coaches provided by the district officials. The data analysis indicated the emergence of the four major themes: the impetus of needs, the empowerment of collective autonomy and serendipity, the invincible coaching support, and the focus of progressive learning in the making of 21st-century leaders. An impetus leadership model grounded on the above four themes was emanated through the iLead teachers’ experiences. The VI findings imply successes in continuity and sustainability by adopting a systemic organizational approach based on the four I’s with a meaningful achievement accountability emphasis on progressive learning instead of the achievement outcomes to overcome the challenges in the incessantly accelerating 21st-century education.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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