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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 Six: Elementary Teachers Leading From the Classroom: Cases of Practical Leadership (Patricia Bricker / Kelly N. Tracy)


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Elementary Teachers Leading From THE Classroom

Cases of Practical Leadership


Understanding teachers as leaders is not a new concept, but conceptualizing what teacher leadership actually looks like takes on a myriad of forms. In York-Barr and Duke’s (2004) extensive review of the literature on teacher leadership, they describe its roots and evolution. Beginning in formal designated roles intended to further the purposes of administration (e.g., increasing efficiency), teacher leadership has evolved to include instructional leaders in curriculum and mentoring, and has changed even more to embrace informal shared leadership roles in which teachers influence others in an effort to improve teaching and learning. As the movement of “teacher as leader” continued into the 21st century, theoretical frameworks of teacher leadership were offered by Lieberman and Miller (2004), and Danielson (2006) and Sato (2005). While Lieberman and Miller and Danielson focus on areas of teacher influence that include the school, community and the profession Sato’s concept of practical leadership focuses on the school level, with teachers’ “deliberative acts” influencing other teachers’ instructional practices as a means to enhance students’ learning. These actions are taken in response to the teachers’ situations encountered in their everyday work with students.

In this chapter we focus on the leadership experiences of two elementary teachers as they continue classroom teaching. Using the framework of practical leadership (Sato, 2005) we investigate the teachers’ deliberative...

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