Research has shown that teachers feel alienated by conventional constructions of school leadership, and therefore, seek leadership opportunities that are collaborative; teachers are also more likely to become teacher leaders in environments where they feel appreciated and believe in the direction of current leadership structures and philosophy at their schools (Lambert, 2003). Conversely, it is possible that teachers who feel unsatisfied may seek teacher leadership opportunities in order to alter the current direction of the school or even the education system as a whole. Such teacher leaders are considered critical and work for a more equitable and just educational system. But whether critical teacher leaders exist and the nature of such leadership is yet to be determined. For these reasons, it is important to further study the critical nature of teacher leadership. Data was gathered for this study using critical qualitative methodology, a theoretical approach grounded in critical theory (Carspecken, 1996). Three data sources were collected for this study. First, participants were observed in four of the educational leadership courses. Second, assignments from three of the participants’ educational leadership courses were collected as a check to determine if their written work reflected the ideas they expressed during class. Third, four key informants were interviewed three times to discover how class meetings and assignments affected individual teachers. Findings indicated that the formation of critical consciousness rests in course content, and professor and class member interactions. Not only do teacher leaders need to be exposed to readings that probe them to think critically, but they also need safe and collaborative opportunities to challenge their own and each other’s thinking within courses. The preparatory experiences of teacher leaders affect their conception of teacher leadership as well as how they enact teacher leadership in their schools.
|Commitee:||Bartholomew, Samantha S., Dennis, Barbara, Eckes, Suzanne E.|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Critical consciousness, Critical theory, Educational leadership, Leader preparation, School leadership, Social justice, Teacher leaders|
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