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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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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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