On the 12th May I joined the final session of Dumfries & Galloway’s Introducing School Leadership programme. Rather than simply sharing the outcomes from our teacher leadership engagement work, they asked me to go a step further and facilitate a session which explored the relationship between teacher leadership and achieving equity.
In order to achieve this, I first explored the nature of teacher leadership and equity with the group and then asked them to discuss the relationship between the two. You can see the slides I used to structure the session below.
I asked the groups to capture the outcomes from their discussions on flipcharts if possible, and you can see these below.
I think what’s clear from all three of the responses above is that if we approach teacher leadership as defined in SCEL’s Framework, which this group agreed with, then there is a lot which teachers can do to impact upon equity.
Through continuously improving their approaches to assessing and meeting all their learners’ needs, teachers can, and do, play a significant role in improving outcomes for young people. Clearly, teachers can not always achieve what they dream of for all of their learners in isolation, but by working collaboratively to ensure that all learners are appropriately challenged, a lot can be achieved.
I wished on the day that I had had a great quote to finish the session with, so better late than never…
“We want to argue loudly and clearly that practitioners who are deeply engaged in the work of teaching and learning know something about that work and, collectively with one another and with others, including parents and community groups, have the capacity to generate and critique knowledge, figure out how to use (or not use) knowledge generated by others, improve practice, and enhance students’ life chances” Cochrane-Smith & Lytle (2009)