Exploring the role of teacher identity in teacher leadership: a case study of two public primary schools in Mombasa County, Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Joyce Ndalichako


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Teachers’ roles and responsibilities keep on increasing in tandem with curriculum innovations and changing socio-economic realities. This demands teachers adopt certain qualities to assist them cope with the changes. Amongst these are identities that enhance teachers’ leadership skills in the classroom, school and in the community. Many studies have been conducted on teacher identity in the Western world but not in Africa and the East African region in particular. This is unlike teacher leadership which has been extensively examined, even regionally. However, these studies have not investigated the link between the two constructs. This research, hence, sought to explore the role of teacher identity in teacher leadership. It aimed at exploring the perceptions primary school teachers have with regard to what constitutes and shapes teacher identity and how these perceptions influence their perceptions of their leadership roles and responsibilities in their contexts. A qualitative multiple case study design was employed in two schools involving 29 participants. Findings reveal that teachers had formed professional and personal identities that corresponded to the factors influencing their formation such as motivation, professional development, teaching experience and location/ school culture. These identities influenced performance of their roles and responsibilities due to the perceived recognition, involvement in decision-making, degree of professionalism, teachers’ attributes, commitment, job satisfaction and agency. The study calls for creation of more school-wide committees to harness the leadership potential of teachers, formation of PLCs in schools and with neighbouring schools, equalisation of working conditions in all schools and reinforcement of curriculum content in teacher preparation programmes to equip teacher trainees with the requisite teacher identity expected of teacher leaders.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library