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Authors Identify Three Major Forms of Support Provided by Teacher Leadership Programs

By Bridget Goldhahn 
March 25, 2019

In new scan of U.S. teacher leadership programs, authors map the landscape of teacher leadership programs across the U.S. and identify commonalities and distinctions amongst the range of programs. Using a variety of search approaches to capture publicly-available information, the authors documented 285 state, local, university, and foundation-sponsored programs that use a variety of techniques to support teachers as leaders. We then categorize the forms of support, attending to program models, objectives, sponsorship, and audience.

Authors Jill Harrison Berg, Peter Horn, Jonathon Supovitz (University of Pennsylvania), and Jason Margolis identify three major forms of support provided by teacher leadership programs: (1) preparation of teachers with knowledge and skills that can help them to lead; (2) positioning of teachers in leadership roles to capitalize upon their expertise; and (3) recognition of teachers as leaders through awards and other forms of appreciation or acknowledgement. While some programs focus only on one of these approaches, most employed a combination of these forms of support. Based on this, we define seven types of teacher leadership programs and provide an interactive depiction of this typology, with examples, to illustrate the variation within each of the seven types.

While there are undoubtedly programs that escaped the authors view, such as homegrown and informal initiatives that could not be documented, this systematic search is the broadest scan of the teacher leadership program landscape conducted in the Unites States to date. Visit the project page for more information or click here to download report. 


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