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Teacher Leadership: A New Professionalism
Author:  Alma Harris, Daniel Muijs
Format:  article
The Exemplar will be most useful for: Supporting Teacher Leaders at Your School
Harris and Muijs analyzed national and international research on teacher leadership. Their study explored the concept and characteristics of distributed teacher leadership, conditions for its growth, and implications for policymakers and practitioners.

According to the study, teacher leadership significantly impacts the culture of a school. As teacher leadership is supported and fostered, effective teaching practices, including continuous learning, higher expectations, and a greater ability to innovate in the classroom, begin spreading among the teachers. The authors concur that professionalism based on mutual trust, recognition, empowerment, and support can improve learning and teaching.

Many studies have highlighted the need for reculturing and restructuring the school environment to better allow for the growth of teacher leadership. The authors emphasize that reculturing the school environment is possible through collaboration and collegiality. Restructuring initiatives may include removing structural barriers and changing working conditions to facilitate classroom visitations and collaborative planning, as well as opportunities for continuous professional development, mentoring, and action research. Teacher leaders can advocate for these transformations within their schools, districts, and states.

Fullan, M. (2001). The New Meaning of Educational Change. Third Edition. Teachers College, Columbia University. New York, NY.
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