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Critical Studies in Teacher Leadership

Edited by Eleanor J. Blair

Teacher leadership as a term is used broadly to describe the many roles and responsibilities of good teachers working in 21st century schools. Teacher leaders, acting in both formal and informal roles, are instrumental in doing at least three things: facilitating and sustaining teacher voice; building leadership capacity in schools and communities; and addressing teaching and learning issues and concerns with best practices evidence and research. Research on the intersection of teacher leadership, school culture, and school improvement is extremely limited, particularly as it pertains to school reform efforts that occur in diverse geographical and social contexts. Important factors that affect the work of teacher leaders include, but are not limited to, issues such as race; urban and rural education; socio-economics; ethnicity; politics; and ideological differences. Critical efforts to link teacher leadership with increased power and agency in teachers’ work is limited. Teacher leadership that is both transformative and critical serves the purpose of redefining teachers’ work to include new roles and responsibilities, such as advocacy leadership and a commitment to the principles of social justice as key components of teachers’ work. As such, a better understanding of teacher leadership and the way that it functions in schools and communities has the potential to nurture new conceptualizations of the teaching profession, but also on the work of teachers advocating for both academic and social reform in public spaces for teaching and learning. Interested authors and collection editors are invited to contact Eleanor Blair at