To discover relationships between where teachers are in their own
mental growth and their effectiveness as leaders, including the impact of age and
experience on these relationships.
Twelve female teacher leaders who participated in the teacher
enhancement project for teaching mathematics between 1993-1997 and who were
in positions as teacher leaders to directly influence their peers. They ranged in
age from 30 to 56, had completed 6 to 27 years of teaching and had engaged in
100-400 hours of direct professional and leadership development experiences.
Four variables were addressed. The first was each teacher leader’s critical order
of consciousness position, or adult growth stage, on Kegan’s developmental
continuum (Kegan, 1994). The other variables were leadership effectiveness,
experience and age. The first variable was assessed using the Subject-Object
Interview and the second through the LPI (completed by both the principals and
three each of their peer teachers). Supplemental data was provided through
journals and activity logs kept by the teachers.
No significant relationship was found between the teachers’
LPI scores and their stage of conceptual development (as in Kegan’s stages).
Similarly, no significant relationship was found between these two variables
when either level of experience and/or age were added to the regression
equation. Experience alone nor age alone and leadership were also not
significantly correlated. A moderately significant relationship was found
between the LPI scores of principals and those from peer teachers for the teacher
leaders. These findings were not affected by considering all five leadership
practices together or separately.