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Studies of teacher leadership have proliferated over the past fifty years. Earlier work tended to focus exclusively on the link between teacher leadership and school improvement. Now, however, cross-cultural research on the relationship between teacher leadership and power, agency and school culture has the potential to contribute to a deeper understanding of the teaching profession in diverse geographical and social contexts.
A Cross-Cultural Consideration of Teacher Leaders’ Narratives of Power, Agency and School Culture presents groundbreaking work that expands discussions of teachers’ work to highlight the struggles of a profession in three different countries: England, Jamaica and the United States. This research provides examples of teacher leaders’ narratives about power, agency and school culture, presenting the voices of teacher leaders across diverse contexts. It identifies the “lessons” that transcend culture and speaks to the importance of understanding how teachers’ work (and teacher leadership) functions within complex school cultures. This work has profound implications for teaching, learning and leading in a 21st century global economy.
Eleanor J. Blair, Carmel Roofe, and Susan Timmins
Section One: Teacher Leadership in England
1. Education in England
2. The Study of Teacher Leaders in England and Their Work
Section Two: Teacher Leadership in Jamaica
4. Critical Perspectives on Teacher Leadership in Jamaica
5. The Empirical Study of Teacher Leaders in Jamaica
6. Reflections, Implications and Conclusions
Section Three: Teacher Leadership in the United States
7. Teacher Leadership in the United States: You Can’t Get There from Here
Eleanor J. Blair
8. Teacher Leadership Today: Teachers Talk About Their Work
Eleanor J. Blair
9. Teacher Leadership for 21st-Century Schools: An Old Wine in a New Bottle?
Eleanor J, Blair
Section Four: Cross-Cultural Considerations and Stories of Teacher Leaders’ Work
10. Cross-Cultural Conversations About Teacher Leadership: Reflections on Trends That Transcend Culture
Carmel Roofe, Eleanor J. Blair, and Susan Timmins
“A Cross-Cultural Consideration of Teacher Leaders’ Narratives of Power, Agency, and School Culture provides rich insights of the ways in which teachers lead in England, Jamaica and the United States. This book fills a void in the literature on teacher leadership, bringing the essential role of teachers as they use their power to enhance students’ educational experience and shape school cultures for positive learning outcomes. Utilizing powerful stories about teachers’ leadership across these three countries, Blair, Roofe, and Timmins show why teachers are the single most important aspect in students’ educational attainment. This book is a must read for teachers, principals, parents, education officers, and those seeking to understand teachers’ leadership across cultures.”Dr. K. Alexander Williams, Dean, School for International Training, The Graduate Institute
“Having had the privilege of working with many educational leaders in several countries, I have long realized that the issues are not dissimilar in nature and complexity. The text then is a helpful resource as it offers insights into the experiences of teacher leaders as shaped by their cultural realities.”Dr. Maurice D. Smith, JP, CPFEd, International Educational Consultant
“Blair, Roofe, and Timmins offer a powerful cross-cultural analysis of teacher leadership, school culture, and politics, and an exploration of the associated challenges faced within the US, England, and Jamaica—in part through teacher interviews within these three countries. The authors offer an assessment of the limitations—and the promise—of teacher leadership in these politically, historically, and educationally different contexts wherein consistently the teaching profession is underappreciated. This groundbreaking volume is essential because we need an understanding of—and full implementation of—teacher leadership in order to bring about meaningful shared leadership and significant school improvement. This is crucial reading also because the teaching/learning process at its essence is represented most significantly in the relationship between the teacher and the student—wherein the rubber meets the road.”Kofi Lomotey, Bardo Distinguished Professor, Western Carolina University
“If you want to understand teachers’ work in the 21st century, and why we don’t have the school workplaces that teachers desire, then this is the book for you. Veteran teacher-educators Blair, Roofe, and Timmins have crafted a stirring book for, about, and in defense of teachers that every parent, politician, and policy-maker must read as well as teachers and administrators. Their cross-cultural look at teachers’ work in England, Jamaica, and the United States is brutally honest and incredibly hopeful about teachers as leaders in schools. With more than 60 combined years of experience teaching, supervising, and learning in school systems, they make a strong and compelling case for the transformation of schools as workplaces that position teachers as leaders who can use their power and agency for joyous, trusting, and equitable school cultures.”Hilton Kelly, Immediate Past President of the American Educational Studies Association, Chair of Educational Studies Department at Davidson College