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Teacher Leadership

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


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 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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