Teachers Learn to Lead in the Classroom: An Action Research Model

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In recent years, there is an increased acceptance of teachers to function as leaders for school improvement at the instructional level of practice. Improvement at the instructional level requires leadership by teachers in the classrooms and with colleagues (Darling-Hammond, Bullmaster, & Cobb, 1995; York-Barr & Duke, 2004).
This study is intended to illustrate the way in which action research can be utilized as an inquisitive, natural approach to instructional changes in the classroom. Additionally, the practice of reflection is illustrated as an innovative way to address student needs while enhancing teacher leadership and teacher learning (Dick, 2007; Hendricks, 2009).
All 26 in-service teacher participants from the urban schools of southern California enrolled for a 15 weeks capstone course while pursuing a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. A teacher leadership matrix guided participants to connect teaching and learning theory to best practices by exploring uncharted territory within an iterative cycle of research and action. Three research questions prefaced the illustrative studies to ensure success in the iterative cycles of action research, systematic reflection, and teacher leadership and collaboration. Teachers developed the philosophy of critical pedagogy through the reflective practice of journal-writing and highlighting innovative teaching intervention strategies. Finally, participants collaborated through peer dialogue and instructor mentorship to accept change and ownership of the action process and student learning outcomes. Excerpts from participant’s reflective journals exemplify growth in teacher knowledge, confidence, personal empowerment, and enhanced professional leadership.


Keywords: Action Research Model, Systematic Reflection, Teacher Leadership, Iterative Cycle
Stream: Educational Leadership and Management
Presentation Type: 15 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Leena Furtado

Professor, Graduate School of Education, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Carson, California, USA

Dr Leena Furtado, is a professor at the Graduate School of Education at California State University, Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA. She is the primary instructor and program developer of the MA: Curriculum and Instruction and MA: Curriculum and Instruction (Science Emphasis) program options. She emphasizes on teachers learning to lead at the classroom level to support school-wide learning outcomes. At the institutional level, she directs a Title-V grant to promote academic excellence to all 24 Masters and credential program students and faculty. Her research interests include teacher leadership, action research, language acquisition, cognitive psychology, and critical and cultural pedagogy.

Ref: L12P0469