Teacher Leadership Outcomes
The targeted outcomes for the Advanced Program of Teacher Leadership include the following:
Schlechty (2001, p. 169) describes vision as a �special category of concept� and �mental image� that the leader uses to describe and give meaning to experiences. Without vision, leaders cannot inspire followers to fulfill goals (Schlechty, 2001). In their leadership roles, teachers must be able to clearly describe goals, objectives, and direction of change or improvement. The teachers in the Teacher Leadership Program develop or increase their abilities to think creatively and with vision. In addition, the program participants determine communication methods that promote �follower-ship� from students, co-workers, district personnel, and community members. These Graduate Education Program leaders strive to become experts in the �promotion and protection� of their schools� values (Sergiovanni, T. J., 2000, p. 3).
The Silver Lake College Teacher Leadership Program is grounded in the assumption that significant school improvement can only be accomplished if there is informed and effective leadership at all levels within the educational setting. Foremost in the development of informed and effective critical thinkers is the emphasis the program places on evaluation and reflection (Graduate Student Handbook, 2002). The development of the capacity for inquiry and problem solving is essential in order to understand the nature and implications of educational choices. Program candidates develop and use reflection to develop a better understanding of practices and their outcomes.
As the educational systems in the United States have shifted to an information- based system, the need for educational leaders who emphasize the management and use of knowledge has increased (Schlechty, 1990). In an ongoing process that includes evaluation and reflection, candidates in the Teacher Leadership Program acquire and apply new knowledge and use appropriate technologies in the service of human beings. Questioning, exploration, experimentation, and action research are some of the tools acquired or honed by participants in the Teacher Leadership Program.
Teachers are change agents when they have developed individual capacities to change themselves and have the ability to lead others into the change process. Change agents have clearly defined processes to bring about change and have studied theories of organizational change. Teachers as change agents can evaluate needed change, describe how change occurs, prepare and promote a change process, and assess and evaluate change that has occurred (Schlechty, P. C., 1997).
�Managers do things right, leaders do the right thing� (Pascale, R., 1990, p. 65). Through the Teacher Leadership Program, candidates combine the ability to do things right with the passion to do the right things. Both are necessary traits in educational settings (Sergiovanni, 2002). This emphasis on combining abilities follows the program�s mission of teaching applied practices methods that are grounded in educational and learning theories. (Schlechty, 1990).
Collaboration between teachers and principals in goal setting and collegial work activity has been identified as a key feature of learning enriched school (Rosenholtz 1989, cited by Sergiovanni (2004, p 188). An effective communicator �understands what needs to be communicated and the best way to deliver it; develops strategies to influence and builds relationships to gain the respect and trust of others by adjusting the style and method of communication to specific audiences.� (U.S. Department of Labor: http://www.doleta.gov/jobs/ETA_Employee_Links/c11.cfm)