The power to shift practice and improve student achievement lies in the hands of teachers who need to be entrusted with the responsibility of shaping and enacting change initiatives. Teachers as change agents have the potential to transform their classrooms, schools, and communities. They are in the position to make real change happen. Therefore, fostering teacher leadership is not only a viable strategy for school improvement, it is a necessity.
Collaborative inquiry is a powerful design for professional learning that supports the notion of teacher leadership as it recognizes the role of teachers in on-going school improvement. It provides a systematic approach for teachers to explore issues and determine resolutions through shared inquiry, reflection, and dialogue. Rather than being merely consumers of research and the professional knowledge that accompanies it, teachers engaged in collaborative inquiry become producers and disseminators of knowledge.
In The Moral Imperative of School Leadership, Michael Fullan noted that leading schools required principals with the courage and capacity to build new cultures based on trusting relationships and a culture of disciplined inquiry and action. Fostering teacher leadership through collaborative inquiry just seems like the right place to start.
Read the entire article by Jenni Donohoo on Education Week at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2013/12/fostering_teacher_leadership_through_collaborative_inquiry.html
Jenni works with the Ministry of Education – Literacy GAINs in Ontario, Canada, and is the author of Collaborative Inquiry for Educators.