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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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19. Why Don’t Teachers Collaborate? A Leadership Conundrum

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CHAPTER 19



Why Don’t Teachers Collaborate?

A Leadership Conundrum

David Piercey

Only an accumulation of individunl changes will produce a collective solution.—Carl Jung

Teacher collaboration is a prime determinant of school improvement. Unfortunately, though we talk about it a lot, we don’t do it as much as we might hope for. We take pride and feel confident when we see a few random acts of collaboration in our schools. But the modal behavior in schools has changed little over the years.

This is surprising because the professional literature, for many years, has provided strong evidence that collaboration works. Still, collaboration is more the exception than the rule.

Why should this be so? Why should something that’s considered a best practice not be practiced as consistently as pedagogy demands? Why should we say we’re doing something when, in fact, we may be resisting it? Why should our public pronouncements profess our support for these practices when our public behaviors sometimes seem to demonstrate the opposite?

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