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Teacher Leadership

The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition

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Edited By Eleanor Blair

Teacher leadership as a dimension of teachers’ work has never been more important. This topic has emerged as a major component of both state and national standards, and as such, it is included in most contemporary teacher education programs. Three decades of research have focused on teacher leadership as an essential element of school improvement, but its relationship to the potential transformation of the teaching profession remains unexplored. This revised edition of Teacher Leadership: The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education provides an overview of the scholarship being done in the field and a framework for questions and discussions regarding the sustainability of teacher leadership efforts. In this edition, each of the five sections is accompanied by an introduction and reflection questions on the various issues related to teachers acting as leaders in classrooms, schools and communities. The book opens with a completely new section that presents scholarship related to teacher leadership and social justice, where the role of ideology in the work of teacher leaders is considered. This book includes the work of over thirty authors and is an essential tool for guiding dialogue regarding the various facets of teacher leadership and its impact on school culture, student learning and professional learning communities within the context of twenty-first century school reform. Teacher Leadership: The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader is intended for undergraduate and graduate education students.
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7. On the Frontier of School Reform with Trailblazers, Pioneers, and Settlers

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CHAPTER 7



On the Frontier of School Reform with Trailblazers, Pioneers, and Settlers

Phillip C. Schlechty

Improvement focuses on doing the same things better with the intent of changing and enhancing the performance of individuals within existing systems. Restructuring is aimed at changing systems so that new types of performances will be possible and encouraged and new or different outcomes can be produced.

Educational leaders and those in charge of training and development activities in schools have had much more experience in trying to improve things than they have had in trying to restructure. As a result, the training and support which is provided to encourage and facilitate restructuring isoften inappropriate.

Distinctions between improvement and restructuring are significant and have implications for those who lead restructuring efforts and for those who provide training and support to participants in the restructuring process. Unfortunately, too few educational leaders and staff developers seem to appreciate the significance of the distinction. In this article, I share some of the lessons I have learned about providing training and support to those who are trying to restructure schools.

Differences That Make a Difference

Staff development which is aimed at improvement is typically based on prior experience and research. This is seldom the case with staff development aimed at encouraging or supporting restructuring. Restructuring creates new conditions which neither the staff developer nor the participants have experienced. Restructuring,...

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