Boston Teacher Leadership Summit

Exploration of Teacher Leadership as a Pathway to Teacher and Student Learning

This Teacher Leadership Idea explores the school-wide implementation of inquiry-constructivism as an authentic pedagogy offered in high school mathematics and science classrooms through teacher-leader teams.

Inquiry, as defined here, is the instructional practice of sustained teacher-facilitated questioning which fosters authentic student engagement and intrinsic motivation (Stohl, 2010). More specifically, inquiry is a Socratic dialogue between the teacher-facilitator, who expertly questions, and the student(s), who actively constructs meaning and independently builds solutions to problems. The teacher-facilitator listens and provides wait and think time for deeper knowledge construction before posing another higher or lower order question.

To put into practice a new pedagogy requires transformative, instructional leadership, which is distributed to include teacher leaders (Newmann et al., 1996; Newmann, Marks, & Gamoran, 1996). Teachers acting as leaders can take the helm as situational change agents when implementing a new method of teaching (Barry, 1999; Drago-Severson, 2009).

This problem of practice explores building small, decision-making teacher teams who create school change and engender the connection of the pedagogy of inquiry-constructivism to positive changes in student engagement, intrinsic motivation, and ultimately academic achievement (Newmann et al., 1996; Newmann, Marks, & Gamoran, 1996).

Reference list upon request.

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Idea No. 306