The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Edited By Eleanor Blair
Introduction to Second Edition
Eleanor J. Blair
When the best leader’s work is done, the people say, “We did it ourselves!”—LAO-TZU
The concepts of teacher leaders, teacher leadership, and leadership capacity building are not new in the field of education. These terms began to emerge in the mid-1990s as the importance of principals and teachers working together on school improvement began to be recognized (Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009; Lambert, 2003). Today, however, these concepts are dominating discussions regarding the roles and responsibilities of teachers in educational reform. Sweeping across the country are teacher leader courses that have, in effect, become the “new” foundations of education in both the undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs. Teacher leader courses, as they are currently conceptualized, include the study of the social, historical, and philosophical foundations of education as well as curriculum studies and leadership theory. These courses appear, on the surface, to be a fairly benign rendering of foundational information within the context of an examination of teacher leadership. However, I believe that the concept of teacher leaders is a radical notion that has the potential to profoundly impact the growth of a stronger, more resilient teaching profession.
Teachers, today, are committed professionals who are better educated than ever before, and yet they often enter a profession where their talents and enthusiasm are marginalized in the pursuit of higher test scores. Teachers know how to teach, and most have an understanding of student learning and classroom dynamics that...
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