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Chapter 4 Teachers as Leaders: The Heart of the High Leadership Capacity School Presented by: Jan Thorburn EDUC 606.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 Teachers as Leaders: The Heart of the High Leadership Capacity School Presented by: Jan Thorburn EDUC 606."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 Teachers as Leaders: The Heart of the High Leadership Capacity School Presented by: Jan Thorburn EDUC 606

2 Teacher Leadership Is fostered in an environment where teachers are provided with opportunity for skillful participation, inquiry, dialogue, and reflection Is based on the assumption that everyone has the right, responsibility, and capability to be a leader Develops in an environment where adult learning is the focus

3 Teacher Leaders Are those for whom the dream of making a difference has been kept alive Or, are those whose dream of making a difference has been reawakened (by, for example, becoming part of a network or by working within an improving school)

4 Teacher Leadership Can come from ROLES Can come from ACTION Department head Committee chair Parent liaison New teacher mentor Literacy coach Professional development coordinator Participate in staff meetings Initiate conversations about school issues Plan professional development Share materials and practices with colleagues

5 We may not always be able to take on new roles, but we can always take action. Lambert says that one of the most important actions teachers can take to develop their leadership capacity is to initiate conversations (p. 34).

6 Teacher Talk (Educational Leadership, March 2002) This is supported by Routman, who works with schools to facilitate professional conversations. She states that making time to commit to regular professional conversations, focused on curriculum and student learning, is one of the best ways to develop thoughtful practice school-wide and to improve teaching and learning (Routman, 2002, p. 35). She also states that the impact on student learning and achievement would remain very limited without ongoing professional reading, reflection, sharing, thinking, collaboration… and continual discussion about all aspects of teaching, learning, and evaluating (Routman, 2002, p. 33).

7 Types of conversations Coaching – partnering with a teacher to discuss and support practice Mentoring – senior teachers with junior teachers, or principals with teachers Self-assessment – working with others to assess your own skills, practice, etc Networking – building a learning community (Lambert, 2003)

8 Distributed Leadership Coaching, mentoring, networking can all be part of distributing leadership. As Hargreaves and Fink have shown us, distributed leadership can lead to strong professional learning communities (p ) Harris (2008) discusses how distributed leadership can happen formally or informally, and that it establishes a broad-based leadership practice that allows staff and others to work together to deal with pedagogical issues.

9 Enculturation: Creating a Leadership Culture Enculturation can mean a focus on the traditional, hierarchical school leadership structure. Or, it can mean creating a strong learning community by developing a culture of support, diversity, depth, breadth, justice, resourcefulness.

10 Enculturation: Creating a Leadership Culture Thoughtful enculturation is critical to sustainability It develops community It provides support for beginning teachers It empowers veteran teachers as they assume the role of mentors It encourages sharing of best practices, of resources, of ideas It gives encourages new teachers to share their voices and emerge has leaders early in their careers It encourages dialogue, communication, collaboration It encourages healthy relationships between teachers and principals

11 Barriers to Teacher Leadership Lack of time Misconceptions of teacher equity (is a teacher leader more powerful/important/valued than another?) Traditional hierarchical authority structures Desire for harmony and safety over possible conflict and risk-taking Teachers who are resistant to change

12 Barriers However, Lambert says that the higher the leadership capacity of a school, the less constraining these perceived barriers become (p. 40).

13 Results of building teacher leadership : These concepts link to the principles of sustainable leadership outlined in Hargreaves and Fink: - Depth - Breadth - Diversity - Resourcefulness - Justice - Length Reduction in isolation; increase in collegiality and collaboration School improvement, and pride in that improvement A sense of investment and involvement in community New knowledge and awareness Professional renewal, replenishment, invigoration Distributed leadership

14 Chapter 5 The Changing Role of the Principal

15 The Principals Role Principals interactions with teachers are critical to the schools ability to focus purposefully on student learning. In a capacity-building environment, the principal believes that everyone has the right, responsibility, and capability to work as a leader, and acts accordingly.

16 Four Types of Principals 1. Directive: top-down, command-and-control style, does not support teacher leadership, imposes vision 2. Laissez-faire: lacks shared vision, disconnected, disjointed, reactive style of management 3. Collaborative: caring, concerned, but may encourage dependency; everything still centres around the principal

17 Four Types of Principals 4. Capacity-building: opens communication, embraces collaboration, develops shared vision, shares decision- making, builds trust, distributes leadership, breaks cycles of dependency, considers the views and values of the wider community, focuses on student learning. This type of leadership is embodied in all of the principles outlined in Hargreaves and Fink.

18 Practical Strategies Lamberts book has a practical focus. It offers numerous strategies and guidelines for building leadership capacity At the end of each chapter, it offers questions and activities than can be used for staff development, to open conversations, and to help assess your own and your schools leadership building capacities. Note: Figure 5.1 (p. 49) – Strategies to help principals break dependency relationships; Figure 5.2 (p. 51) – Principal behaviours for building leadership capacity; Figure 5.3 (p. 52) – 15 Leadership capacity action steps

19 Chapter 6 Student Learning and Leading

20 Leadership: For What Purpose? Principal leadership is key to developing leadership capacity among teachers Lambert asserts that the main goal of building teacher leadership capacity is to develop the learning and leadership of students. A school with high leadership capacity develops students who both learn and lead. (Lambert, 2003, p. 54)

21 Adult leaders who build leadership capacity in their schools create environments and experiences for students that result in: Stronger academic achievement Positive involvement in school (good attendance, low drop-outs, high grad rates, etc) Resiliency behaviours Equitable gains across socio-economic, gender, race groups A closing of the achievement gap Sustained improvement over time

22 Student achievement can now be directly and unmistakably traced to the presence or lack of conditions that create high leadership capacity in schools, including teaching and instructional excellence. (Lambert, 2003, p. 55) It has to do with sustainable leadership practices, which think beyond the present, build a culture of leadership, renew peoples energy, do not focus on short-term, imposed targets and quick fixes, and place students first. (Hargreaves and Fink, 2006, p. 259, 267)

23 Key Assumptions about Student Leadership All children have the right, responsibility, and capability to be leaders Leadership is reciprocal, purposeful learning in community Learning and leading are deeply intertwined Learning communities should be designed to evoke leadership from all children Leading is a public expression of learning Our mission to develop educated citizens capable of improving society is a function of early student learning and leadership

24 Practices that Generate Student Leadership Allow more than token representation on boards, committees, at meetings, etc Allow student voices to be heard in the decision- making process Base student learning on the principles of constructivism: making meaning through experiences, learning from the literature and history of their own cultures, engage in inquiry and discovery

25 Practices that Generate Student Leadership Enable development of intrinsic motivation Encourage development of resiliency by emphasizing problem-solving skills, social competence, and active participation in the world around them Do so in an environment of support, caring, high expectations, meaningful contributions Allow for self-reflection and self-assessment

26 Conclusions Learning and leading cannot be separated: leading is a form of learning, for both adults and children Student leadership can be built by using instructional programs that evoke student voice, apply the principles of constructivism, attend to intrinsic motivation, build resiliency… all in a nurturing, close- knit environment

27 Questions for Consideration 1. What leadership activities do your students participate in? 2. How is leadership fostered in your students? In your classroom? In your school? 3. What can your school do to build teacher leadership capacity? 4. What can your school do to build student leadership capacity?

28 References Hargreaves, A. & Fink, D. (2006) Sustainable leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Harris, A. (2008) Distributed school leadership: Developing tomorrows leaders. London: Routledge. Lambert, L. (2003) Leadership capacity for lasting school improvement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Routman, R. (2002) Teacher talk. Educational Leadership, March 2002,


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