The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Introduction to Section Five
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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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