Teacher Leadership for the 21st Century: Teacher Leaders’ Experiences in Supporting the Pedagogical Practice of Academic Rigor
Lauri A. Francis, Student, School of Educational Leadership & Change
The purpose of this research study was to ascertain teacher leaders’ experiences with supporting their colleagues’ pedagogical practice of academic rigor, a core tenet of 21st century skills (Blackburn, 2008; Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2011). This phenomenological study permitted six teacher leaders in New York to share their experiences through a protocol writing activity, two interviews, and a reflection. Participants described their experiences within three domains: realization, engagement, and disengagement, identifying the pedagogical and andragogical issues that impact their ability to nurture the implementation of rigorous instruction. Examination of the results revealed that teacher leaders’ ability to support their peers in providing rigorous instruction was predicated upon teacher leaders’ ability to (a) position themselves as reflective practitioners; (b) encourage engagement within the professional learning community, and (c) advocate for socially relevant instruction.