Teacher Leadership in Professional Development Schools

Cover of Teacher Leadership in Professional Development Schools
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Synopsis

Table of contents

(23 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xviii
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Abstract

Professional development schools (PDSs) are a specific type of school–university partnership designed to support teacher preparation, professional development, inquiry and research, and student learning. Active teacher engagement in PDS work over the past three decades has led to the emergence of teacher leader practice and development as a serendipitous outcome of PDS partnerships. Emphasizing teacher leadership throughout, this chapter provides an overview of PDSs, including a definition and core purposes, benefits of continuous learning for all PDS stakeholders, and the complexities of PDS work before offering a brief history of PDS in the United States.

Abstract

In today’s educational climate of data, differentiation, and accountability, teacher leadership is essential; and professional development schools (PDSs) offer distinctive settings for teacher leader practice and development. Building on chapter one, this chapter defines teacher leadership in PDSs, introduces distributed leadership theory, and provides a brief history of teacher leadership in the United States before asserting several characteristics that render PDSs ideal settings for studying teacher leadership. Instead of asking why we should study teacher leadership in PDSs and other school–university partnerships, a better question might be, why wouldn’t we?

Section I: Teacher Leadership and Student Learning

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors describe collaborative efforts of three teacher leaders and a college professional development school (PDS) liaison to ensure that preservice candidates and practicing teachers can effectively meet the needs of English learners (ELs). The chapter includes an introduction to the PDS’s history and mission, an overview of research on effective practices that promote ELs’ learning, a description of teacher leadership in the PDS context, examples of professional learning opportunities to help preservice candidates and practicing teachers ensure that ELs are academically successful, and a discussion of how data are being used to evaluate the impact of this work on both teachers and students.

Abstract

This chapter explores the alignment of teacher leadership and student learning in a professional development school (PDS) by reporting on a successful teacher-initiated PDS project at a southeastern United States high school. De-tracking efforts using teacher collaboration and efficacy in ninth grade Algebra I College Prep courses were examined for effectiveness to improve the achievement in mathematics of students who enter high school without pre-algebra skills. The chapter critiques the lack of democracy inherent in educational tracking as a default system of student grouping because it perpetuates inequities, particularly for students most likely to experience challenges with academic achievement.

Abstract

Project Teacher Leadership is a PDS initiative, which has formed university–school teams to foster collaboration, inquiry, and leadership. University professors, intern teachers, and veteran K-12 teachers engaged in collaborative conversations about authentic experiences in their work to uncover troubling problems of practice and develop strategies for addressing them. In doing so, participants began to develop increased professional agency and leadership. The project drew strength from examining problems through varied perspectives and systematic inquiry, and the inquiry process motivated participants to advocate for changed practices better suited to ensure all students’ learning.

Abstract

This chapter features three personal reflections written by practicing teacher leaders from Florida, Ohio, and Maryland. The first reflection describes a collegial partnership between a practicing special education teacher and an undergraduate intern which has been sustained for many years. The second recounts a teacher leader’s serendipitous experience in cultivating new teacher leaders through collegiality, collaboration, and leading by example. The third describes how a college instructor’s participation in Project Teacher Leadership provided new leadership opportunities and inspired educational and professional growth. The chapter concludes with five questions for discussion and reflection.

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Abstract

This chapter synthesizes Chapters 3–6, traces contemporary educational policy, and explores its impact on teaching and learning in today’s schools before exploring professional development schools (PDS) as communities where teaching, learning, and leadership can thrive. Drawing from classic literature on educational leadership, the chapter weaves together implications for teacher leadership and student learning with recent and current standards for teacher leadership and for PDSs. It asserts that, rather than standards, Goodlad, Mantle-Bromley, and Goodlad’s (2004) Agenda for Education in a Democracy may impart greater meaning to teacher leaders’ contributions to the PDS movement.

Section II: Definitions, Structures, and Cultures that Promote Teacher Leadership

Abstract

Recognizing the importance of developing professional identities and valuing the work of school-based teacher educators, this chapter outlines a specific context in which teacher leaders self-identified and worked across contexts to support teacher development within their schools. This chapter’s primary focus includes the perceptions and experiences of teacher leaders in school–university partnerships connected to one university in one identified role: liaison-in-residence. Three themes resulted from analysis of transcripts, journals, and memos: teacher leader identity developed within democratic leadership; teacher leader positionality stirs tensions in professional identity; and service and equity as key guideposts for leading and learning.

Abstract

Partnerships between public schools and institutions of higher education provide teachers with opportunities for leadership. Teachers at the University of Wyoming (UW) Lab School belong to a community of learners and leaders partnering with the UW’s Education College. In this school–university partnership, a strong culture endures in which teachers are viewed as leaders supporting the preparation of future educators and embracing active involvement in the school community. Professional development practices are implemented through the partnership to enhance teacher leadership skills. This chapter explores how professional learning communities, school learning walks, and co-teaching strategies support lab school teacher leaders as learners and change agents.

Abstract

National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) are highly accomplished teachers who have learned to deprivatize their teaching practice, and hence provide a valuable model for teacher leadership. This chapter, which focuses on NBCTs as mentors of teacher candidates in a professional development school (PDS) setting, blends the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ Five Core Propositions, Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium Standards, and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education PDS Standards to operationalize teacher leadership among four NBCTs. Utilizing multiple case-study research methods, data were gathered using prereflections, weekly e-mail prompts, and end-of-semester interviews. Six common threads focus on NBCTs serving as bridges from preservice to in-service teaching and creating distributed leadership opportunities.

Abstract

This chapter features four personal reflections written by practicing teacher leaders from Indiana, Connecticut, Nevada, and New Jersey. The first two reflections describe the transition from teacher to teacher leader through active engagement in leadership roles related to teacher preparation, internships, and field experiences. The third reflection compares teaching in a professional development school (PDS) to teaching at a non-PDS site; and the fourth reflection considers the many benefits of teaching in a PDS, including the support of a professor in residence. The chapter concludes with five questions for discussion and reflection.

Abstract

This chapter synthesizes Chapters 8–11, and discusses various definitions, structures, and cultures of teacher leadership. It also describes how the professional development school model supports various teacher leader roles, responsibilities, and initiatives, including liaisons-in-residence, professional learning communities, learning walks, co-teaching, and mentoring. Recognizing that even amidst rich and authentic examples, a common definition for teacher leadership still does not emerge, the chapter concludes on the note that by not declaring a one-size-fits-all definition of teacher leadership, the concept remains open to various potential leadership roles and responsibilities.

Section III: Teacher Leader Preparation and Development

Abstract

Teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in the professional development school model can serve as a valuable channel for teacher leadership opportunities. Using the distributed leadership perspective, this chapter explores how one school–university partnership focused on developing teacher leaders rather than simply teacher candidates. Viewing the TPP as an incubator for teacher leaders primes candidates to not only teach in the classroom, but to also seek out leadership opportunities based on their passions. This chapter highlights components of the TPP, such as assignments and innovative practices, and provides two specific examples of teacher candidates following their passions to leadership.

Abstract

This chapter describes the development of a teacher leader preparation program that emerged from a partnership between a university and a local high-needs district. Using a sociocultural approach, researchers conducted a needs assessment for teachers in the district. Drawing on this data and extant literature, researchers designed a program aimed at increasing opportunities for distributed leadership. The Beginning Teacher Project is built around five signature features, including targeted professional development, ongoing dialog, turnkey training, instructional decision-making, and community engagement. The chapter traces the development of the program and describes the signature features in detail.

Abstract

This chapter describes a teacher leadership professional development program for K-12 science teachers constructed through a partnership between a university and five school districts. The development and implementation of the program drew from the literature on teacher leadership, communities of practice, and distributed leadership. The program supports teachers through a two-year fellowship program where they examine their teaching practices, attend professional development workshops, and undertake an independent teacher leadership project in their own schools. The chapter also describes the research conducted by the university to improve the program and shares findings and future implications of this research.

Abstract

Grounded in the principles of constructivist leadership, the Master Teacher Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington began as a three-year initiative to highlight and strengthen the extraordinary work and leadership potential of teachers in a multi-district professional development system. Currently in its fifth year, the program has evolved to include an array of collaborative opportunities impacting not only our partnership teachers, but also college faculty, professional development school beginning teachers, and the students they serve. This chapter shares the experiences of program participants and a multitude of ways in which each has engaged in practices meant to enhance and promote teacher leadership in our partnership.

Abstract

This chapter features three personal reflections written by practicing teacher leaders from North Carolina, Kentucky/Missouri, and New Jersey. The first two reflections describe various challenges and successes of instructional coaches working with new teachers and experienced teachers in two different schools. The third reflection recounts one teacher’s frustrating experience trying to provide support for his school’s Parent and Teacher Organization. The chapter concludes with five questions for discussion and reflection.

Abstract

This chapter synthesizes Chapters 13–17. After distinguishing teacher leaders as individuals who enact various functions of teacher leadership in today’s schools, the chapter describes three themes related to teacher leader preparation and development in professional development schools (PDSs): (1) teacher leaders are made not born, (2) school–university partnerships create the conditions for developing high-quality teacher leaders, and (3) PDSs have the potential to develop teacher leaders as teacher educators. The chapter concludes with recommendations on how teacher leadership in PDSs can be strengthened.

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About the Authors

Pages 297-301
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Index

Pages 303-313
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Cover of Teacher Leadership in Professional Development Schools
DOI
10.1108/9781787434035
Publication date
2018-04-06
Editor
ISBN
978-1-78743-404-2
eISBN
978-1-78743-403-5