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Teacher Leadership

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

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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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Foreword

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David Gabbard

The idea of teacher leadership, as it is now used in the language of the new managerialism, opens the door to a special kind of denial. It allows teachers to deny that they are not actually leading. We can plainly see that they are, for the most part, functionaries of the system that has now chosen them to help it lead. We can also see, however, other teachers who don’t submit to their servitude as willingly or enthusiastically as others. Among this group, some may work to disguise their resistance by exploiting discursive regimes, such as the one responsible for the formation of a concept of teacher leadership that functions as aggressive compliance. Hence, we might find them serving in some role identified with teacher leadership. Some others may give more open expression to their resistance. By increasing the visibility of their resistance by drawing attention to themselves, they also increase their vulnerability to various forms of exclusion, marginalization, and/or punishment. Perhaps it was the lessons learned from those stories that led some resisters to disguise their resistance, which constitutes its own kind of denial. In any case, I believe it is crucial to remain mindful of how the notion of teacher leadership creates an opportunity for some resisters to deny their resistance and for those who identify with and as “teacher leaders” to deny their compliance. They aren’t resisting, and they aren’t complying; they are leading!

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