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JSL Vol 26-N6

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JSL invites the submission of manuscripts that contribute to the exchange of ideas and scholarship about schools and leadership. All theoretical and methological approaches are welcome. We do not advocate or practice a bias toward any mode of inquiry (e.g., qualitative vs. quantitative; empirical vs. conceptual; discipline-based vs. interdisciplinary) and instead operate from the assumption that all careful and methodologically sound research has the potential to contribute to our understanding of school leadership. We strongly encourage authors to consider both the local and global implications of their work. The journal’s goal is to clearly communicate with a diverse audience including both school-based and university-based educators. The journal embraces a board conception of school leadership and welcomes manuscripts that reflect the diversity of ways in which this term is understood. The journal is interested not only in manuscripts that focus on administrative leadership in schools and school districts, but also in manuscripts that inquire about teacher, student, parent, and community leadership.

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900 Special Issue Introduction—Teacher Leadership: Furthering the Research Agenda

ePub

MELINDA M. MANGIN

Special Issue Introduction

Teacher Leadership: Furthering the Research Agenda

Education policy makers and K–12 practitioners have embraced teacher leadership as a critical element of school improvement. Teacher leadership, as part of a comprehensive reform strategy, is thought to increase teacher motivation and commitment, create opportunities for teacher learning and development, and facilitate sustained instructional improvement (Beachum & Dentith, 2004; Curtis, 2013; Mangin & Stoelinga, 2008; York-Barr & Duke, 2004). One recent example of education policy aimed at increasing teacher leadership is Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Teach to Lead initiative. This national program seeks to mobilize teachers’ knowledge and skills in an effort to capitalize on valuable human resources and build collective capacity in schools. To date, Teach to Lead has garnered support from 71 educational organizations (see: http://teachtolead.org/). State departments of education have kept pace with this trend, creating teacher leader endorsements that can be added to a teaching certificate (Hohenbrink, Stauffer, Zigler, & Uhlenhake, 2011; Shelton, 2011) and adopting the recently developed Teacher Leader Model Standards as a means to facilitate high-quality teacher leader preparation (Berg, Carver, & Mangin, 2014; Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium, 2011).

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905 The Diverse Faces of Teacher Leadership: A Typology and Survey Tool

ePub

CHRISTINE LEE BAE

KATHRYN N. HAYES

DAWN M. O’CONNOR

JEFFERY C. SEITZ

RACHELLE DISTEFANO

The Diverse Faces of Teacher Leadership

A Typology and Survey Tool

Abstract: The potential benefits of teacher leadership are widely acknowledged; however, the conceptualization of this construct is in need of theoretical development and analytic clarification. The purpose of this mixed methodology study was to operationalize distinct types of teacher leadership into an organized typology, based on case studies of teacher leaders in a science education project. In addition, through confirmatory factor analysis, evidence for factors representing the distinct types of teacher leadership identified in the typology was found in a general teacher leadership survey. Implications for teacher leadership research and practice are discussed.

KEYWORDS: Teacher Leadership, Typology, Science Education

Introduction

If we expect ambitious, intellectually engaged people to become teachers and remain in our public schools, we must offer them a career path that is exciting and varied over the long term, and which includes opportunities to lead among adults, not just children.

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938 Teacher Leadership and High-Stakes Teacher Evaluation: Complementary or Conflicting Approaches to Improvement?

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Melinda M. Mangin

Teacher Leadership and High-Stakes Teacher Evaluation

Complementary or Conflicting Approaches to Improvement?

Abstract: Teacher leadership is frequently implemented alongside top-down mandates as a way to provide both pressure and support for change. At the same time, the convergence of policy tools with fundamentally different theories of change can complicate and hinder improvement efforts. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to examine one instance where policy tools with divergent theoretical assumptions converge: the use of teacher leadership as a capacity-building tool and high-stakes teacher evaluation, an authority tool with sanctions for poor performance. As such, this study investigates the extent to which these two approaches complement one another to facilitate improvement or whether they conflict in ways that are counter-productive. To understand the interplay of high-stakes teacher evaluation and teacher leadership, I conducted an in-depth case study in one high school. Findings from the study indicate that the school and district supported the teacher leader in building teachers’ capacity through high-quality learning experiences. However, the teacher leader’s efforts were hindered by the high-stakes teacher evaluation context, which created a risk-averse learning environment and impeded teachers’ engagement in the kind of learning needed to change instructional practice. Instead of interpreting the high-stakes evaluation as an impetus to embrace available learning opportunities, teachers focused on complying with top-down policy mandates at the expense of learning.

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975 The Roles of Teacher Leaders in Guiding PLCs Focused on Disciplinary Literacy

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MEGIN CHARNER-LAIRD

JACY IPPOLITO

CHRISTINA L. DOBBS

The Roles of Teacher Leaders in Guiding PLCs Focused on Disciplinary Literacy

ABSTRACT: This study investigates the experiences of teacher leaders working to facilitate professional learning communities (PLCs) focused on inquiry into disciplinary literacy at the high school level. Specifically, we examine the moves that team leaders made to preserve focus and learning within their PLCs and how participants experienced their leadership. We found that the teacher leaders in this study established structures and routines for their PLCs to work productively together and that their facilitation was crucial for the success of inquiry, and thus for participants’ professional learning and growth.

KEY WORDS: Teacher Leadership, Disciplinary Literacy, Professional Learning Communities, Inquiry, Professional Learning

As accountability pressures increase and new requirements for instruction shift with the widespread adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), many educators continue to look to professional learning communities (PLCs) as a primary learning mechanism to bring their practice in line with standards. Some see PLCs as an ideal model for collaborative professional learning (Talbert, 2010), while others point to the sense of collective responsibility that is built through participation in a PLC (Harris & Muijs, 2002; Servage, 2008). While PLCs, which provide regular opportunities for groups of teachers to work together on improving practice, theoretically present many possibilities for improving teacher and student learning, the on-the-ground experience of participants engaged in PLCs often does not live up to these ideals, particularly if the professional learning model is imposed top-down (Fairman & Mackenzie, 2012; Talbert, 2010). Because participants are rarely taught how to work collaboratively or provided with ongoing guidance for how to best facilitate and utilize PLC time together, many teachers in PLCs struggle to collaborate effectively. Instead, teachers can often be seen working independently while in the same space, or focusing on logistical matters rather than problems of practice (Hargreaves & Dennis, 2009; Neil & Johnston, 2005; Supovitz, 2002; Talbert, 2010; Troen & Boles, 2012).

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1002 The Interplay Between Principal Leadership and Teacher Leader Efficacy

ePub

KRISTY COOPER STEIN

MICHAEL MACALUSO

RANDI Nevins STANULIS

The Interplay Between Principal Leadership and Teacher Leader Efficacy

ABSTRACT: Researchers assert that the influence of teacher leadership on school change is highly contingent on the actions and beliefs of school principals. Self-efficacy theory also suggests that the extent to which teacher leaders feel they can impact change will influence how they engage with leadership opportunities. This study considers the interplay between these two forces and uses eleven embedded case studies to examine how principal leadership style—transformational, transactional, or laissez-faire—influences teacher leader efficacy. Findings suggest that teacher leader efficacy is rooted both in the teacher leaders’ self-perceptions and in how those perceptions influence and are influenced by principals’ expectations and leadership behaviors.

KEY WORDS: Teacher Leadership, Principal, Leadership Styles, Teacher Leader Efficacy, Embedded Case Study

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1033 Teacher Leaders as Change Agents: Scaling Up a Middle School Reading Initiative

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Karla Scornavacco

Alison G. Boardman

Chao Wang

Teacher Leaders as Change Agents

Scaling Up a Middle School Reading Initiative

Abstract: We investigated teacher leadership in 18 middle schools in one district engaged in an initiative to scale up Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR). This mixed-methods analysis found variability in CSR teacher leadership, including the number of hours allotted for release time to support the initiative, the activities teacher leaders enacted, and the support they received. Although findings suggest that the full vision of teacher leadership was difficult to implement at scale, teacher leadership was used to leverage change at several sites. We present a case study of a school that demonstrated collective, shared own ership of both CSR and the teacher leadership model. This study highlights the complexity of defining the expectations and support for a district-funded teacher leader role and raises questions about the need and priorities for the role at every school.

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