The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Edited By Eleanor Blair
13. Understanding Teacher Leadership
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Understanding Teacher Leadership
Marilyn Katzenmeyer and Gayle Moller
Being a teacher leader means sharing and representing relevant and key ideas of our work as teachers in contexts beyond our individual classrooms so as to improve the education of our students and our ability to provide it for them.
—Ariel Sacks, Eighth Grade Teacher Leader
Hardworking educators struggle every day within a system that was not designed for the needs of today’s students. In spite of the skepticism of the public and the ensuing policy reports that reveal failures within our educational system, most teachers are committed to searching for answers to improve student outcomes, although other demands compete for their attention. The unending need to find social services for students and their families, competitive challenges from advocates of charter schools and school vouchers, and the dwindling numbers of capable individuals who want to become teachers and school administrators create distractions from the challenge committed educators face in improving student learning.
Over the last 25 years, the massive number of reports on how to improve schools influenced policymakers to pass legislation placing pressure on educators to provide quality education for all students. Few would disagree with this goal. Many would argue, though, that the goal cannot be accomplished by simply raising standards, creating and implementing more outcome measures, and holding students, teachers, and administrators ever more accountable for test scores. Research on...
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