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Innovative Approaches to Educational Leadership

Selected Cases


Edited By Carrie Rogers, Kofi Lomotey and Adriel Hilton

Of late, leadership has come to include individuals in elementary, secondary and tertiary institutions who do not necessarily carry leadership titles.  Faculty in preK-16 institutions, along with other staff and community people, have increasingly begun to take on leadership responsibilities as shared leadership is articulated and practiced more and more in education.  This volume focuses on educational leadership--broadly defined.  More specifically, following several research-based thought pieces in which the authors define and discuss this new conception of leadership, contributors offer preK-16 case study illustrations of this recent conception of educational leadership.  Readers will use this casebook as a foundational text for courses in teacher education, educational leadership, business and higher education. It includes detailed chapters focused on teacher leadership, principal leadership and higher educational leadership.
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Chapter Two: Practical Leadership: How Teachers Enact Leadership to Re-culture Their Schools (Mistilina Sato / Carrie Rogers)


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Practical Leadership

How Teachers Enact Leadership to Re-culture Their Schools


We present this chapter on the theory of practical leadership as a way to see teacher leadership as not only present in teachers’ everyday actions but also as a way for teachers to see themselves as stewards of the teaching profession in their daily work within schools. Practical leadership, grounded in the ideas of Aristotelian practical reasoning, is bounded contextually and oriented toward action. This theory of leadership recognizes the everyday work of teachers as a place of leadership enactment. What we are learning and can continue to learn through the lens of practical leadership is that broadening the way teachers are viewed as leaders not only benefits teachers themselves, but can also work toward the re-culturing and improvement of schools. Below, we take up the history of teacher leadership and through illustrations of practical leadership, we push on common notions of what constitutes teacher leadership within US schools to get closer to leadership as stewardship.


Teacher leadership is not a new concept. Teachers were often referred to as classroom leaders in the mid–nineteenth century (Cuban, 1988) and the leaders of schools once bore the title of principal teachers (The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 1996, p. 110). As schooling moved to an industrial model in the...

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