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Transforming Identities: From Teacher to Teacher Leader

Fri, April 4, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Convention Center, Floor: Terrace Level, Terrace IV


Teacher leadership roles are expanding, but are teachers ready to assume these new roles? This paper presents findings from a qualitative study conducted with graduates of a long-standing teacher leadership preparation program. Analysis of interviews and written reflections found that program graduates (even those with considerable leadership experience) entered the program with a surprisingly weak leadership identity. Committed to the classroom, they eschewed labels that assumed traditional views of power and authority. Identity transformation occurred, however, through a set of facilitative conditions and processes that included critical self-reflection, community discourse, and confidence building. This paradigmatic shift in thinking – what Mezirow (2000) refers to as “perspective transformation” – emerged as foundational to this program’s success in preparing teacher leaders.