Teacher leaders often have to navigate implicit leadership structures within their schools and often move between communities as part of their roles. This study explores how a Noyce Master Teaching Fellow program fostered a sense of empowerment within teacher leaders. The program provided opportunities for the teacher leaders to become legitimate participants in a research community in addition to supporting the transfer of new meanings, practices, and identities to their teaching community of practice. Drawing upon frameworks of border crossing and communities of practice, we highlight mechanisms by which teacher leaders become empowered and cross the boundaries between research and teaching. We identified four mechanisms of empowerment: (1) identification of shared boundary objects, (2) coordination of professional visions, (3) experimentation with provisional selves, and (4) expansion of professional networks. Additionally, our analysis revealed ways in which validation, legitimacy, and sense of belonging are fostered through engagement in a research community. The findings from this study have both theoretical and practical implications for leadership development and teacher leader scholars.
International Journal of Leadership in Education
Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Reid, J. W., Hardee, A. B., Criswell, B. A., Elrod, M., Berryhill, S. B., & Rushton, G. T. (2022). Empowering teacher leaders: the role of research in changing teacher leaders' sense of themselves as professionals. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 1-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13603124.2022.2045629