The Theory And Practice Of Teacher Leadership

2178 Words9 Pages
The concept and practice of teacher leadership have gained momentum in the past two decades. Teachers are assuming more leadership functions at both instructional and organizational levels of practice. Empirical literature reveals effects of teacher leadership practice, teacher leader characteristics, and conditions that promote and challenge teacher leadership. Teachers’ leadership and collective expertise are tightly linked to student achievement. A sophisticated new study has found that schools staffed by credentialed and experienced teachers who work together over an extended time generate the largest student achievement gains. Students of less-experienced teachers who had access to the most accomplished colleagues made the very greatest achievement growth gains. Obviously, less-experienced teachers had the greatest margin for improvement. But this finding nonetheless implies that the “master” teachers with whom they worked are spreading their expertise among colleagues. (Wayne, 2003) The question is whether teachers have time to lead or learn from their peers, either informally or through structured professional development experiences. Case studies find that they do not, limiting the cultivation of teacher leaders who can spread their expertise to their colleagues. Teachers Network survey respondents joined their professional networks for a broad variety of reasons, including the ability to secure funding for projects in their classrooms or schools and involvement in
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