The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Edited By Eleanor Blair
Introduction to Section Two
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Teaching has traditionally attracted individuals who come to the profession for the right reasons but find the public schools are the wrong institutions for their dreams and aspirations. Teachers express dissatisfaction with the profession for many reasons, but most complaints focus on the dissatisfactions associated with a low salary, status, autonomy, and limited decision-making. Attempts to improve the status of the profession have generally focused on increasing the educational requirements for entry into the profession, raising salaries, and encouraging collaboration and shared decision-making among major stakeholders. These efforts to recognize the various levels of skill, education, and expertise of teachers often “open the door” to opportunities for teachers to assume important leadership roles beyond the classroom, roles that challenge traditional notions of school leadership, and ultimately provide opportunities for teacher leaders to practice independent decision-making. A renewed interest in teacher leadership as a cornerstone of most teacher education programs in the twenty-first century is an important indicator that the public is ready to put teachers on the front line of school reform efforts and acknowledge the essential knowledge and skills that they bring to schools and communities.
Contemporary discussions of teacher leadership in the research literature rely on conceptions of teachers’ work as focusing on student achievement goals and building on a professional trilogy: teaching, learning, leading. Katzenmeyer and Moller (2009) described teacher leaders as those who “lead within and beyond the classroom; identify with and contribute to a community...
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