Teachers lead the design and implementation of student-centered learning

Why?

Initiative must come up from the teachers, stemming from their desire to meet the needs of the individual students they serve. No one ‘up above’—in a leadership capacity at the charter authorizer, district, or school level—is likely to grant the authority over learning without the teachers making it clear they want that professional authority.

How?

Teachers can be insistent, publicly, about the need to personalize learning. And insist that they, knowing the individual students, must lead the personalized learning revolution. Something like a movement of ‘civil disobedience’ might be implied.

Teacher unions can help teachers in this pursuit. They can bargain into their contracts the opportunity, for schools and teachers that wish, to obtain a package of defined autonomies.

What Will Result?

Some schools and teachers will get the authority to lead, to reshape, the learning. Hastened by the arrival and spread of digital devices and software, personalized learning will develop, with the teachers naturally adapting to the differences among students.

For Us, Teacher Leadership = Teacher-Powered Schools

Our concept of teacher leadership is not about bringing “teacher voice” into a top-down policymaking and management process or giving teachers more “career pathways” within that hierarchical structure.

Instead, we work to move final decision-making authority in schools into the hands of the professionals who know students best—the teachers.

We call schools like these teacher-powered schools.