The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Edited By Eleanor Blair
25. Preparing Teachers for Leadership Roles in the 21st Century
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Preparing Teachers for Leadership Roles in the 21st Century
Julie A. Sherrill
The many calls for educational reform in the last 15 years have shared several common themes, including increasing recognition of the importance of teacher quality and teacher leadership to school improvement efforts (The Holmes Group, 1986, 1990, 1995; National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983; National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 1996). New teacher leadership roles are emerging as educators and policymakers seek to improve the three major phases of the teaching career continuum: teacher preparation, induction, and ongoing professional development.
However, the new teacher leadership roles remain ill defined and unclear to both researchers and teacher leaders (see Conley & Muncey, this issue). The expectations attached to the new roles can be confusing, demanding, and overwhelming to teacher leaders, as well as to their colleagues and administrators (Collinson & Sherrill, 1997; Sherrill, 1993a; Wasley, 1991). Teacher leaders are literally forging their roles on site.
I have often desired a more clear and concise description of teacher leadership roles, coupled with a greater understanding of the foundational skills and knowledge teachers need to fulfill their roles successfully and of ways teachers are supposed to attain them. My desire for clarity stems from having studied emerging teacher leadership roles at the teacher preparation phase at a major research university (see Sherrill, 1993a), and having held positions of responsibility for induction and...
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