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Evaluating Teacher Leadership Skills Within a Collaborative Framework

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  1. Evaluating Teacher Leadership Skills Within a Collaborative Framework Janet L. Applin, Ph.D. Western Kentucky University 2009 National Evaluation Institute, Louisville , KY

  2. Overview of Session • Teacher Leadership Defined • Collaboration Defined • Teacher Leadership and Collaboration • Assumptions • WKU’s Integration of Teacher Leadership Skills and Collaboration Skills

  3. Teacher Leadership Defined • Teacher Leaders are educators who use their expertise to improve student learning by working inside and outside the classroom in formal and informal ways to augment the professional skills of colleagues, to strengthen the culture of the school, and to improve the quality of instruction. • Kentucky Teacher Leader Proposed Standards, 2008

  4. Focused Teacher Leadership • Teacher Leaders FACILITATE, COLLABORATE, COACH AND MODEL, AND ASSIST AND ENGAGE IN: • Leading School Improvement • Promoting Ongoing Professional Learning for Self and Others • Deepen the Instructional Capacity of Colleagues • Work Productively with Others • Develop Communities of Professional Practice • KY Teacher Leader Proposed Standards

  5. Collaboration Defined • A system of planned cooperative activities where general educators and special educators share roles and responsibilities for student learning. • Wiggins & Damore (2006)

  6. Components of Collaboration(Wiggins & Damore, 2006) • Positive Attitude • Team Process • Professional Development • Leadership • Resources • Benefits

  7. Overlapping Skills of Teacher Leadership and Collaboration • Work inside and outside of the classroom with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement • Ongoing professional development • Working productively with others • Promote Positive Learning Environment

  8. Assumptions • Collaborative Special Education Teachers are responsible for initiating and maintaining the collaborative relationship between general and special educators • Collaborative Special Education Teachers must possess leadership skills to promote effective collaboration with the ultimate outcome being increased student learning

  9. WKU’s Integration of Teacher Leadership Skills into Collaboration • Pre-service Special Educators are required to take a full semester course in Collaboration and skills of collaboration are embedded within other methodology, pedagogy, and content special education courses. • Through program assessment, it was determined that students were lacking leadership skills needed for effective collaboration

  10. First Steps Determine current level of awareness and knowledge of pre-service special education teachers pertaining to Teacher Leadership. Conduct Pre-service teacher survey to determine level of awareness and knowledge of Teacher Leadership Skills Revise Courses to embed more explicit Teacher Leadership skills into pre-service teacher coursework Analyze data to answer the following questions: • 1. Are pre-service teachers aware of the need for teacher leadership skills in special education? • 2. How do pre-service teachers rate themselves on skills needed for teacher leadership? • 3. Which skills of teacher leadership need to be explicitly taught in relation to special education collaboration? • 4. What is the most effective way to teach the skills of leadership for collaboration?

  11. Questions/Discussion • Contact Information: Janet L. Applin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Exceptional Education Western Kentucky University School of Teacher Education 1906 College Heights Blvd. #61030 Bowling Green, KY 42101 Janet.applin@wku.edu