Video: Teacher Leadership Speech from AERA 2013

I had the pleasure of being part of panel on Teacher Leadership at the AERA conference in San Francisco last weekend.  I presented on a paper I wrote, “Creating Capacity & Space for Teacher Leadership.”  I hope you’ll take the time to watch: 

Slide text:
Creating Capacity & Space for Teacher Leadership

Goal: Transform education from field where expertise and success exists in isolated individual classrooms (or outside of them) to one where expert practitioners augment and influence beyond their classrooms.

– Recognize novice teachers as potential teacher-leaders
– Create space for teacher-leaders to practice and develop
– Recognize and compensate teachers through formal leadership opportunities


Leo Casey, Executive Director of the Shanker Institute, sent me the following feedback on the paper, which I’m adding with his permission. He’s completely correct:

Nice paper on teacher leadership. I think Gramsci would be much more helpful than Althusser is thinking your concepts through. Althusser’s theory of interpellation, like his work generally, is generally considered to have a ‘structuralist’ cast because of his denial of subjectivity – and not just subjectivity in some untethered sense, but even historically grounded subjectivity, a la Marx in the 18th Brumaire: “Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.” Althusser would say that you think you are exercising teacher leadership, but you are just responding to an ideology that defines it for you. Gramsci, and in particular his conception of organic intellectuals and their role in building class unity and the hegemonic role of the class in the larger society, is about historically grounded subjectivity, and about democratic leadership.