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Can we cultivate teacher leadership in our preservice teachers?

I love this big, huge, hairy, murky question! And the answer is...well. Let me explain, first.

I had the opportunity to research this question with two great teacher educators I met through CTQ, and had previously blogged about it in "Green Eggs, Brown Eggs, and Hatching Teacher Leadrship" as I tried to crack open the idea (get it, egg blog, "crack" open?). Today, our research was published in the Association of Teacher Educators journal, Action in Teacher Education. I'm grateful to the Center for Teaching Quality for connecting me to great mentors and collaborators, I'm grateful to John Holland and Jon Eckert for being those mentors and collaborators, and I'm thankful to the education community at large for the peeling back of the layers of this conversation. Special thanks to our guest experts who video-conferenced into our college classroooms at Mount Holyoke College, Wheaton College, and Virginia Commonwealth.

Below is a tidbit from our article: 

Amidst myriad reforms, the education landscape is rapidly shifting.  There has been a call for teacher leadership to lead these reforms, helping transform the profession and reshape education.  The call for teacher leadership is changing the role of a teacher, and as this role transforms, so must teacher education.  We examine teacher leadership and ask the question: can the seeds of teacher leadership be cultivated before a preservice teacher graduates to the school district?  This chapter lays the foundation for ongoing research with three colleagues at separate teacher education institutes.  Preservice teachers read about and interact via video conferencing with teacher leaders from across the country to see if and how they think differently about the potential of leading education—from inside America’s classrooms.

So the answer to that big, hairy question?

You'll have to read the research. (Sorry for the tease!) Read more at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01626620.2014.977738#preview. And we'd love your experience and ideas below...what do you think? When can we begin to plant to seeds of teacher leadership? I'd make the claim that it CAN happen before day one in the classroom.

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