Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Sohyun An

Committee Chair

Erin Crews Adams

Second Committee Member

Brendan Callahan


Service learning involves specific and intentional academic and learning goals that are achieved through service to a community and reflection. Often the responsibility for ensuring that service learning in schools is meaningful and successful falls to teacher leaders with little specific training on organizing such efforts. This research inquiry examined the experiences of nontraditional teacher leaders and the choices they made while designing and implementing service learning projects for their elementary students. This research also examined the setting and structures that were in place to facilitate these service learning initiatives. Data analysis found the themes of ties to the curriculum, ownership and connection, and students “shouldering the weight” to be instrumental.