Contesting the orthodoxy of teacher leadership

Tanya Fitzgerald, Helen M. Gunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Terms such as 'leader', 'manager', 'teacher' and 'student' prevail in most schools and, accordingly, school hierarchies are viewed as rational ways of organizing teachers and their work that institutionalize authority. We are deeply concerned that the term 'teacher leadership' has crept into educational vocabulary and there has not been sustained and robust debate either about the term or its use and misuse in schools. Although one of the positive aspects that this term signals is the possibility of more participation in schools, the enduring contradiction is that leadership remains hierarchical and connected with organizational purpose. More specifically, teacher leadership is a seductively functionalist way in which teacher commitment to neo-liberal reform has been secured.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-340
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


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