Teacher leadership is the theme that carries through our graduate licensure and degree completion program. The Augsburg Education Department believes that teachers are role models and leaders in their classrooms, institutions, and communities.
Read more about teacher leadership as written by Vicki Olson, professor of education.
The leadership focus plays out in two ways. First, MAE students taking licensure courses with undergraduates exercise leadership in the classroom as well as extend their knowledge beyond the basic requirements of the undergraduate course. Second, in the degree completion component, students are required to include at least two graduate-level courses focusing on some aspects of leadership from our Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL) program. Also, all final project courses require students to acquire the knowledge needed to lead a change effort and consider how to bring about that change in their work place.
To guide us in our thinking about teacher leadership, the Education Department has put forward three aspirations for teacher leadership that guide development of graduate course assignments and degree completion tracks. These aspirations are:
Developing Teacher Leadership
Aspirations for Graduate Level Licensure and Degree Completion Program
Aspiration 1: Values learning for personal and professional growth. Shares knowledge effectively with colleagues.
- Approaches life with curiosity, asking why as well as what and how.
- Knowingly operates from a dynamic and personal philosophy of education
- Reflects on self as a change agent in the context of education
Teacher leaders are comfortable with their knowledge and expertise, neither flaunting it nor hiding it, but sharing it with others generously. They work to build bridges with a full range of colleagues, but they don’t let recalcitrant colleagues stop their own development. They see learning as a continuous endeavor and seek it throughout their careers.
Aspiration 2:Thinks big—beyond the classroom to the broader context of education and community.
- Stays informed about broader context of education
- Seeks evidence for making informed decisions
- Understands political decision-making processes and how to participate in them
- Change the lives of many in diverse communities
- Participates as a change agent
Teacher leaders see systems and the “big picture” and are able to put their classrooms, schools, and communities into a broader context. They understand the link between policies, politics, and education and participate in change efforts at the macro and micro levels. They seek to work with administrators to establish school and district policy that improves life for every one. If this involves political action, they are prepared to engage in it.
Teacher leaders understand that teaching and learning are dynamic and that change within school systems is an ever-present phenomenon. They are informed decision-makers pre-disposed to take on the challenge of change when they think it benefits students, teachers, and/or community.
Aspiration 3: Possesses courage and an orientation to action.
- Accepts responsibility and power
- Helps others not be afraid
- Questions assumptions
- Seeks fairness and equity
- Speaks and acts publicly in support of beliefs
Teacher leaders help others not be afraid. They are able to get people to take risks and step outside their comfort zones. They have the courage to bring people together to see the bigger picture and then help people get there.
Teacher leaders accept both power and accountability. They understand that responsibility without power diminishes potential for effectiveness. They understand that accountability is a fair trade for the power to take effective action. They operate from a foundation of self-efficacy.