Doctoral Project Abstract
Leadership: The Unrecognized Leader "The Teacher"
Leadership is a pressing issue in all parts of society. However, leadership is much more important in the educational community than any other profession. According to many educational theorists, the prevailing assumption is that teacher-credential programs are adequately preparing new teachers for the rigors of classroom leadership. Historically, new teachers are treated the same as veteran teachers and are expected to gain an advanced leadership perspective by participation in school sponsored programs. However, many educational leadership theorists contend that these school sponsored programs are not working. In-fact, upwards of 50 percent of new teachers will leave the profession within five years. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 22 million more teachers must be hired by 2010 to offset the high attrition rate among new teachers. Often, teachers are left to develop their own leadership skills without any guidance or direction. What is important about the teaching profession is the impact teachers have on the next generation. Teachers, for the most part, are the first leaders children meet outside of their families. Therefore, it is vital that teachers, frontline leaders, have more than a rudimentary understanding of leadership principles. The teaching environment is unique and because of this uniqueness training teachers requires a unique curriculum.
This curriculum is uniquely designed to assist teachers in leadership development. It focuses on personal leadership skills—that are necessary to be mentally and emotionally prepared to lead students or colleagues. Specific topics include the evolution of contemporary leadership, leadership principles, visions, values, soft skills development and coaching leadership, are part this course. This course moves away from the traditional ideology that the only leaders in the schoolhouse are the administrators. In fact, administrators are managers and the only leader in the school, is the unrecognized leader, the teacher!