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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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15. Teachers, Learners, Leaders

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CHAPTER 15



Teachers, Learners, Leaders

Ann Lieberman

What if teachers ran their own professional development through projects? And what if teachers themselves received funding for these projects? What if the purpose of such projects was not only to spur individual professional learning, but also to develop leadership skills and initiate an exchange of knowledge among one’s peers?

In Ontario, Canada, teachers pursue this kind of self-designed professional learning through the publicly funded Teacher Learning and Leadership Program (TLLP). Since the 2007–08 school year, 1,500 people—mostly teachers—have initiated 225 teacher learning projects through TLLP, 83 percent of which have been collaborations among several educators.

Part of the beauty of this professional learning structure is that it represents a successful joining of the education policy arm and teachers’ unions. The program meshes education research, education policy, and teaching practice and is a prime example of how researchers, policymakers, and practicing teachers can work together instead of pursuing conflicting agendas.

The Context: Building a Collaboration

The province of Ontario serves 2 million students, and approximately 120,000 teachers work in Ontario’s K–12 public schools. English, French, Catholic, and nonreligious K–12 schools all receive public funding through the provincial government. The Teacher Learning and Leadership Program was developed in 2003 in the context of a new Ontario provincial government. From the start, the new education minister deliberately avoided the...

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