I think a Professional Leadership Community approach has a lot to offer. But what do we need leadership in teaching for?
Brian Lord and Barbara Miller have this to say:
At present, we do not know enough about teacher leadership to make bold claims for its effectiveness in helping reforms go to scale or improving student achievement. However, preliminary research findings point to one critical feature. Teacher leadership is often treated as a strictly instrumental strategy to increase the number of professional development providers – putting in place more people to provide more contact hours with classroom teachers. This approach offers limited promise of achieving reformers’ goals. Yet, when teachers leaders are part of a wider, systemic strategy, within a well-aligned constellation of district supports (e.g., assessment and accountability systems, programs for curriculum implementation), the potential for impact is greater. For this reason, we view teacher leadership less as a magic bullet for quickly solving the “numbers” problem and more as a critical feature in a coherent and focused set of district policies to address the substantive challenges of reform.
From: Teacher Leadership: An Appealing and Inescapable Force in School Reform? Brian Lord and Barbara Miller, Education Development Center, March 2000.
I agree. Instrumental strategies in any enterprise involving people will do less than succeed. People are not merely productive units. It’s a complex equation: look after the people and a lot of organisational goals will come into line.
Professional learning communities. A rare thing!!