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Teacher leadership: toward a new conceptual framework

Teacher leadership: toward a new conceptual framework Conceptual ambiguity about the term “teacher leadership” has retarded development of useful research on this topic. The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework that researchers might utilize to clarify key assumptions embedded in their use of the term “teacher leadership,” enabling members of this research community to better understand and build upon each other’s work and to develop a knowledge base on teacher leadership.Design/methodology/approachIn 2016 a community of researchers convened in a conversation about their varied conceptions of teacher leadership. The authors analyzed documentation from this convening to identify key ways in which members’ conceptions of teacher leadership diverged. They then drew upon the teacher–leader research literature and their own experiences with teacher–leader initiatives to propose a conceptual framework that would support researchers to define teacher leadership in ways that meet established criteria for an empirically-useful concept.FindingsFour dimensions of teacher leadership that should be referenced in an empirically-useful definition of teacher leadership are: legitimacy, support, objective and method. It is hypothesized that clarifying one’s assumptions about each of these dimensions and providing descriptive evidence of how they are instantiated will address the conceptual ambiguity that currently stymies the accumulation of knowledge in this field.Originality/valueThis paper presents a framework that can provide a strong foundation for the development of a knowledge base on teacher leadership, which is needed to inform education leaders’ efforts to maximize teachers’ leadership influence as asset for improving teaching, learning and schools. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Professional Capital and Community Emerald Publishing

Teacher leadership: toward a new conceptual framework

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-9548
DOI
10.1108/jpcc-06-2018-0017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Conceptual ambiguity about the term “teacher leadership” has retarded development of useful research on this topic. The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework that researchers might utilize to clarify key assumptions embedded in their use of the term “teacher leadership,” enabling members of this research community to better understand and build upon each other’s work and to develop a knowledge base on teacher leadership.Design/methodology/approachIn 2016 a community of researchers convened in a conversation about their varied conceptions of teacher leadership. The authors analyzed documentation from this convening to identify key ways in which members’ conceptions of teacher leadership diverged. They then drew upon the teacher–leader research literature and their own experiences with teacher–leader initiatives to propose a conceptual framework that would support researchers to define teacher leadership in ways that meet established criteria for an empirically-useful concept.FindingsFour dimensions of teacher leadership that should be referenced in an empirically-useful definition of teacher leadership are: legitimacy, support, objective and method. It is hypothesized that clarifying one’s assumptions about each of these dimensions and providing descriptive evidence of how they are instantiated will address the conceptual ambiguity that currently stymies the accumulation of knowledge in this field.Originality/valueThis paper presents a framework that can provide a strong foundation for the development of a knowledge base on teacher leadership, which is needed to inform education leaders’ efforts to maximize teachers’ leadership influence as asset for improving teaching, learning and schools.

Journal

Journal of Professional Capital and CommunityEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 8, 2019

Keywords: Conceptual framework; Teacher leadership; Leadership; Networks; School improvement; Professional community

References