Teachers and Administrators as Lead Professionals for Democratic Ethics: From Course Design to Collaborative Journeys of Becoming
Bridging Educational Leadership, Curriculum Theory and Didaktik
The heightened level of attention being afforded to "teacher leadership" is palpable in the United States. At a national level, proprietary organizations are receiving funds from large philanthropic organizations (e.g., the Gates and the Wallace Foundations) to promote the development of teacher leaders. State departments of education are accommodating the federal push finding various ways to incentivize the efforts of teachers to lead from the classroom. Our institutions of higher education
... also adjusting and accommodating by taking up the charge of preparing teacher leaders, theorizing, and researching the potential of teacher leadership through academic study. As professors of education in the United States, we are mindful of the contextualizing neoliberalism infused throughout our policy environment and are deeply concerned about the habits of competition, rigidness, bureaucratization, and overspecialization. Not surprisingly, such ways of thinking, acting, and being infiltrate our educational institutions and can have a dehumanizing effect on local teachers, their pedagogies, and their students (Noddings 2007; Nussbaum 2010). Such habits of mind and body can additionally reinforce a sense of isolation between teachers and their profession (Eisner 2001), perhaps even a loss of vocational calling (Hansen 1995; Palmer 2007) . Along with this can come a sense of alienation from colleagues and administrators (Macdonald and Shirley 2009) as well as a loss of individual and collective voice and autonomy (Apple 2006; Ayers 2010; Miller 1990 ). This chapter reports on an action research project designed focused on teacher leadership and reconceptualist curriculum theorizing as an alternative to the Tyler Rationale.