Teacher Leadership Research Paper

This sample Teacher Leadership Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. As we enter the new millennium, teachers are closer than ever before to realizing their critically important and rightful position as leaders in PreK-12 education. Educational practice today requires more and increasingly varied participation by teachers in the leadership work of continual school improvement and renewal. The advances in teaching and learning that are increasingly required to maximize the growth and contributions of this next generation of children will not be realized without teachers, supported by administrators and enabled in a culture of collaborative learning, who lead among their peers. An evolution in the thinking about teacher leadership has been described by Silva, Gimbert, and Nolan (2000) as three “waves.” The essence of teacher leadership in the first wave was teachers assuming formal positions, such as department chair, site committee member, or union representative, positions largely focused on increasing the efficiency of school management. Activities included scheduling, assigning classes, coordinating special events, and serving as a communication link between administrators and teachers. In this wave, conceptions of teacher-leaders focused on keeping things running smoothly. A second wave of teacher leadership “. . . acknowledged the importance of teachers as instructional leaders and created positions that capitalized on teacher instructional knowledge” (Silva et al., 2000, p. 780). In this wave, teachers assumed formally identified leadership positions such as staff developer or curriculum specialist. Some of these instructional leadership functions were add-ons to regular classroom teaching responsibilities. Curricular and instructional leadership in the second wave was viewed as important, yet still as an extra, not central, role of teachers. In the unfolding third wave of teacher leadership, teachers are leaders in creating and sustaining a collaborative culture of learning in the school focused on improving instructional practice (Silva et al., 2000). All teachers are viewed as potential leaders who can share the responsibility of continual professional and school development, regardless of whether they hold a formal designation of leader (Barth, 2001; Frost & Harris, 2003). An expectation for leadership is embedded within the work scope of teachers instead of being an add-on. Teachers share leadership responsibilities with the principal to shape and enact the school’s vision of advancing teaching, rather than just being communicators or coordinators. Not to be construed as revisiting the quasi-administrative functions of the first wave, nor having the prepackaged curriculum feel of the second wave, teacher leadership now explicitly holds developing learning capacity as its core function—learning for the grown-ups and students in schools. These three waves of teacher leadership reflect an evolution in thinking about how teachers participate in school leadership and learning. This evolution has not happened in a vacuum. Increasing educational accountability, progressive conceptions of […]

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The Work Of Teachers Research Paper

This sample The Work Of Teachers Research Paper  is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. If you want to buy a high quality research paper on any topic at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. This research-paper explores the work of classroom teachers. It is organized around the following questions: What is the nature of teachers’ work? What are the primary goals of this work? What do teachers do in their jobs day in, day out? In what contexts is their work performed and how might those contexts shape teachers’ work? Finally, what directions might teachers’ work take in the future? These questions appear easy to answer. After all, there are approximately 3.2 million elementary, middle school, and high school teachers in the United States (U.S. Department of Labor, 2007). Anyone who has completed high school has witnessed at least 45 to 50 teachers on the job. However, there is no shared public understanding of what teachers actually do (Johnson, 2005). Surprisingly, very little research has documented the full range of their work. Some aspects of teachers’ work have been well documented, for example, what elementary teachers do in classroom instruction. But overall, according to Dreeben (2005), “Teaching is a prime example of . . . the limits of our knowledge of what is actually done in accomplishing a given job” (p. 60). Thisresearch-paper draws upon the available literature to map the broad contours of teachers’ work. Due to space limitations, a substantial amount of nuance and detail is sacrificed (e.g., differences between elementary and secondary teachers, regular classroom and special education teachers, teachers in under-resourced and well-resourced schools and communities, etc.). We encourage the reader to consult the cited literature. Our discussion is not about who teachers are or what constitutes effective teaching; it is about the job of being a teacher. We intend to promote greater understanding of teachers’ work. We hope to help persons considering becoming teachers make sound decisions. In addition, we hope to provide some insights for educational administrators and policy makers to think clearly about the problems of teachers and teaching and how to address them. The Nature of Teachers’ Work Teachers are employees of schools and school districts, called to public service and charged with the responsibility of preparing children and youth for productive and personally satisfying lives. On average, during the course of a 30-year career, an elementary teacher will serve nearly 650 students and, depending on the assignment, a high school teacher will serve as many as 6,000 students. It is noble work, work that is crucial not only to the learning and development of children and youth but also to the vitality of society. To many, the work is extremely rewarding. To some, it is daunting and overwhelming. Goals and Expectations The goals and expectations for teachers’ work are sometimes ambitious, broad, and dynamic. […]

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