The Teacher Leader KnowledgeBase aims to raise awareness of the teacher leader role at the district level and to support teachers aspiring to the teacher leader role through master's degree-level university programs.
Purpose: A brief from the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality on the role of teacher leadership in education innovation states, "Teacher leadership is the process by which teachers, individually or collectively, formally influence their colleagues, principals, and other members of the school community to improve teaching and learning practices with the goal of increased student learning and achievement." There are different forms of teacher leader roles including "teacher leader," "master teacher," "peer mentor," or "academic coach." Element 1 provides overview information on the approaches to and models of teacher leadership.
Purpose: A teacher aspiring to be a "teacher leader," "master teacher," "peer mentor" or "academic coach" should first investigate the nature of such role, how the role might fit with his or her abilities, and identify the associated educational and certification/licensure requirements of each role. Element 2 provides information to assist a teacher in preparing for a teacher leader role.
Purpose: To recruit teacher leaders effectively, a district needs to have a plan of action. The plan should identify the teacher leader role within the district, define the prerequisites for the role, and reflect applicable state standards or certification or licensure guidelines and an awareness of educational programs providing course work associated with the teacher leader role. Element 3 provides resources to assist the district in developing such a plan.
Guideline: Teachers in leadership roles assist their colleagues in the use of research-based instructional strategies in their daily instruction. To do so, they need an understanding of research-based instructional strategies and how to apply them in daily instruction. This task provides resources to assist teacher leaders in supporting their colleagues.
This U.S. Department of Education guide offers "tools to educational practitioners that help distinguish practices supported by rigorous evidence from those that are not."
Alternate format: PDF
This link to the American Society for Quality website provides quality tools for teachers. Each tool has a tutorial explaining how it can be used in a school setting. Teachers in a leadership role may find these tools useful when working with individual teachers or groups of teachers.
The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement's website provides a compilation of resources on scientifically based research organized around the eleven components of the Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) Program.
The former Center on Instruction was one of 21 comprehensive centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education. from 2005 - 2012. The Center on Instruction provided resources and expertise to the Regional Comprehensive Centers in reading, mathematics, science, special education, and English language learners.
The former National High School Center was one of 21 comprehensive centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education from 2005-2012. The National High School Center served as the central source of information and expertise on high school improvement for the Regional Comprehensive Centers.
As noted at its website, "the What Works Clearinghouse, established by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, provides educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education."
Purpose: A teacher in a peer leadership role helps colleagues improve their professional practice, supports collaboration and instructional strategies, and encourages professional learning. Fulfilling these roles successfully is the essence of teacher leadership. Element 4 provides resources to assist in becoming an effective teacher leader.
Purpose: Teachers in leadership roles must attend to their own continuing professional learning to enhance their abilities to support colleagues to improve their instructional capabilities. Teacher leaders could have a dual teaching role, one with their students and the other with their peers. Element 5 provides resources to assist teacher leaders in addressing their professional learning.