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Teacher Leadership

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

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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 Section Five

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Introduction

Discussions of teacher leadership are not new. Teacher leadership is not a panacea for the educational problems of the twenty-first century; however, teacher leadership that involves putting teachers on the front line of school reform has the potential to transform schools and classrooms. Katzenmeyer and Moller (2009) refer to teacher leadership as “a sleeping giant,” and that image is exciting within a context of considering the potential changes that could occur if teachers were awakened to the real possibilities of teachers’ work that functions to support teachers acting as leaders to influence change and promote relevant innovation. Twenty-first century schools are being defined daily by the transformative changes that are arising from demographics, politics, and geography. Schools are responding to demands that they simultaneously respond to both local and national needs as well as global imperatives that require students to be technologically savvy consumers of both old and new knowledge. It has never been more important for teachers to simultaneously be leaders in the classroom, school, and community. The structure of educational innovation and progress cannot be defined by external forces ignorant of the complex dimensions that shape the parameters of teaching and learning. Teachers, and only teachers, have the training, experience, and knowledge to begin to define what twenty-first-century schools and learners need within an ideological context that acknowledges the important role a commitment to social justice and equity in teaching and learning plays in any school improvement plan.

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