Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Joanne Marshall


In May 2001, the Iowa legislature enacted Teacher Quality legislation to improve student achievement. This legislation included four components, one of which was the Team-Based Variable Pay Pilot Project (TBVP), which coupled alternative teacher compensation with student achievement.;There has been much research on alternative teacher compensation, which includes recognizing and rewarding teachers as a team, but the research has not focused on the importance of teacher teams. Dianne Chadwick found student and staff achievement were key to the success of TBVP, not "variable pay". The researcher found the principals believed the team structure to be the key to the success of TBVP.;The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the importance of the "team" by collecting information from all the schools in the pilot project. The researcher used Crow and Pounder's constructs to provide a sketch of the teacher teams. The sketch led to purposeful sampling and a limited number of teacher teams were included in the case study.;The researcher used on-site interviews and observations to probe the degree to which teacher teams exhibited the characteristics of teamness and functioned as a learning community. The researcher identified the strategies used to promote teamness, impact student achievement (student learning), and impact professional growth and development (teacher learning).;The researcher concluded that the team structure and the teams represented the heart of the TBVP Pilot Project. Teachers and principals valued the increased cooperation, collaboration, communication, and shared commitment and credited the teacher teams.;The researcher made a number of recommendations related to traditional and nontraditional teacher teams. The traditional team structure alone was "not enough" nor were the departments, grade level, and interdisciplinary teams. Iowa's legislators need to continue to fund TBVP in order to further explore the roles the teacher teams play. Principals need to know more about teacher teams in order to create, and recreate as needed, teacher teams that fulfill the promise of teacher teams and serve student and adult needs until every child is successful and every teacher is effective.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Sarah Sebring Binder



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

439 pages