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The Challenge of Leading Teacher Peers: Towards the Characterization of Middle Leadership and the Relevance of Tolerance and Freedom in a Literacy Program
Nowadays, a large part of teacher leadership studies have been focused mainly on the principal as a key factor in the results of students' success. Nevertheless, some recent literature is available that discusses other faculty members who without leaving their classroom responsibilities, assume distinct directive responsibilities on an intermediate level. This article explores some of the salient characteristics that distinguish the leadership of teachers in charge of other teachers, and discusses in particular the importance of tolerance and freedom. The text gives some clues about the process in which teachers feel challenged when they undertake the responsibility for an educational improvement project, being in charge of their peers, but without the managerial authority to exercise the influence over them. The evidence presented corresponds to the fmdings from a case study conducted on the topic of middle leadership from a group who coordinate a program to improve education in the area of language, in socially at risk schools in the Bio Bio region of Chile. The results of the study show among other aspects that both coordinators and peer educators agree that a necessary condition that characterizes middle leadership is to allow group members certain levels of initiative, decision making, and action in their tasks in the program.
Distributed Leadership, Middle Leadership, Instructional Leadership, School Improvement
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