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Teachers, Leadership, Collaboration, and Power

Abstract

"Changes in teacher demographics make it increasingly likely that early career teachers find themselves in positions where they have the opportunity to assume roles as teacher leaders. This paper, an eighteen-month case study of two teachers, examines the question of how early career teachers develop leadership capability. The paper uses Foucaults conception of power to support a broader conception of leadership that is well-suited to empirical study. It provides evidence that early career leadership can be effective at changing the fields of possible action for administrators and other teachers. It shows that effective leadership and support for change can emerge from supportive, facilitative action that does not require that one teacher tell another how to teach. In so doing, it adds to understanding of how teacher leadership can be effective in the context of the teaching professions traditional norms of autonomy and egalitarianism. The paper concludes with a suggestion that teacher leadership research might usefully expand its scope to focus more on the teachers role in initiating change."

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