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Teacher Leadership

The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition


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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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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