Can Early Careers Teachers Be Teacher Leaders? A Study of Second-year Trainees in the Teach First Alternative Certification Programme

Daniel Muijs*, Chris Chapman, Paul Armstrong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The most recent decade has seen a major growth in interest in teacher leadership, but there is limited research on the extent to which early career teachers can take on teacher leadership roles. In this article we explore this question by looking at teachers prepared through the alternative certification programme Teach First (TF), which aims to have its teachers take on leadership roles. We used a mixed methods approach, employing a range of quantitative and qualitative methods including surveys of TF teachers and headteachers, and 16 case studies, which included interview of TF teachers, heads, middle managers and non-TF teachers. We found that the TF teachers were keen and able to exercise leadership. This was most strongly the case for informal leadership roles like leading initiatives in the school. School support was important; senior management needs to be committed to distributed leadership, and practical hands-on support is required at the departmental level. A context that is stable and employs consistent and coherent policies makes it easier for teachers to engage in leadership. It is argued that if schools are to tap into the leadership potential of early careers teachers, initial teacher education needs to prepare them for teacher leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-781
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Volume41
Issue number6
Early online date05 Sept 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • distributed leadership
  • early careers teachers
  • Teach First
  • teacher leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Strategy and Management

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