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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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20. Teacher Leadership: Alive and Thriving at the Elementary Level

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CHAPTER 20



Teacher Leadership

Alive and Thriving at the Elementary Level

Sherry Willis

During the summer of 2007, thirty-four selected kindergarten teachers from across the state of North Carolina came together to begin a journey purposefully crafted to enhance their instructional practice and to build their leadership capacity. This group of teachers, identified as North Carolina Kindergarten Teacher Leaders, was a key component of the state’s early childhood initiative known as The Power of Kindergarten (Power of K). The impetus for this initiative arose from concerns voiced by a number of kindergarten teachers, administrators, and members of the North Carolina Birth Through Kindergarten Higher Education Consortium. These educators were highly concerned that developmentally appropriate practices in North Carolina kindergarten classrooms were being diminished if not lost entirely.

Members of the Early Childhood Division of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) listened to the concerns and quickly responded. An eight-member Kindergarten Think Tank composed of kindergarten teachers, administrators, and other early childhood professionals was organized. The Think Tank first created a position paper that defined the purpose and requirements for North Carolina kindergartens in the 21st century. Next, plans were made for selecting a cadre of teachers to become leaders in implementing and sustaining the kindergarten program described in the position statement. Interest in the initiative was high—over two hundred kindergarten teachers from all regions of the state applied to become a Kindergarten...

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