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European Journal of Physics Education

Yıl 2012 , Cilt 3 , Sayı 2

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Confronting myths about teacher leadership

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University of Missouri1
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Leadership in Freshman Physics is an NSF-funded professional development program designed to support 9th grade teacher leaders in the successful implementation of a 'Physics First' or curriculum sequence that places physics prior to biology and chemistry. Leadership is viewed as an essential component in the initial success and long-term sustainability of such reforms. However, our own experiences working with teachers and the growing body of literature cautions that teachers may not view themselves as leaders and may hold ideas counterproductive to their development as leaders. In this article, we consider teachers' myths about leadership, and describe how we helped teachers confront these in a professional development program. In this program, each teacher designed a plan of action, based on his or her professional experiences and school environment. A web-based online learning community was established to serve as a platform of interaction and support among teachers and project staff throughout the year. We emphasize that by developing their capacity for leadership, teachers can make a difference beyond their own classrooms through empowering others.

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