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Defining and Assessing the Dispositions of Preservice Teacher Leaders
Unformatted Document Text:  Defining and Assessing the Dispositions of Teacher Leaders Section 1: Content A. Statement of the Issue – Schools of education have struggled with identifying dispositions that are truly dispositions, can be assessed and have a clear relationship to teaching/school success. One school of education has worked to identify dispositions that are based on leadership traits especially the traits of leaders utilizing emotional intelligence. B. Literature review – Leaders, especially teacher leaders, face a challenge of working with diverse groups of individuals (students, colleagues, administrators, parents, board members, and the community at large) to achieve educational progress and reach individual and school goals. Teachers can assume a passive, follower role or they can develop a leadership role. Many teachers do not see themselves as teacher-leaders. Recent organizational research and theories have revealed that passive, follower roles may not serve either the individual or the school organization well. Wheatley (1999) noted that organizations must consider new approaches to leadership and of new ways of working together. Teachers are placed in a uniquely fluid and highly dynamic environment. Jentz and Murphy (2005) identified the common challenge of dealing with organizational challenges which can give rise to confusion and unsuccessful responses. Teacher leaders must be able to serve in a variety of leadership roles to advance individual and organizational goals (Gabriel, 2005). Social and emotional leadership are approaches that can support teacher and school improvement needs when effectively utilized (Sylwester, 1995). Current teaching and learning challenges and mandates may cause teacher candidates to react emotionally rather than objectively or intellectually to a situation. Emotional reactions to challenges give rise to an action response which must be carefully considered before implementation (Goleman, 1995). Leaders, especially teacher leaders, “manage meaning for a group, offering a way to interpret or make sense of, and so react emotionally to, a given situation” (Goleman, 2002, p. xii). Teacher leader has the ability to sway perceptions, attitudes and actions of those involved in the education process. Goleman identified this ability as a “resonance” or the ability to positively impact the actions and attitudes of others. Goleman (2002) identified four domains of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Goleman (2002) proposed that leaders must have awareness of and control over the four domains of emotional intelligence to effectively provide leadership or to be able to “resonate” with the feelings and attitudes of others. C. Contribution – This paper seeks to share one approach by a school of education in using the framework of the four domains of emotional intelligence to assess the leadership development and dispositions of teacher candidates. D. Relevance – Most schools of education must develop/identify dispositions that can be explained to teacher candidates, the larger school community and those providing assessment of the disposition, have a research or literature base, have

Authors: Heider, Cindy.
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Defining and Assessing the Dispositions of Teacher Leaders
Section 1: Content
A. Statement of the Issue – Schools of education have struggled with identifying
dispositions that are truly dispositions, can be assessed and have a clear
relationship to teaching/school success. One school of education has worked to
identify dispositions that are based on leadership traits especially the traits of
leaders utilizing emotional intelligence.
B. Literature review – Leaders, especially teacher leaders, face a challenge of
working with diverse groups of individuals (students, colleagues, administrators,
parents, board members, and the community at large) to achieve educational
progress and reach individual and school goals. Teachers can assume a passive,
follower role or they can develop a leadership role. Many teachers do not see
themselves as teacher-leaders. Recent organizational research and theories have
revealed that passive, follower roles may not serve either the individual or the
school organization well. Wheatley (1999) noted that organizations must consider
new approaches to leadership and of new ways of working together.
Teachers are placed in a uniquely fluid and highly dynamic environment. Jentz
and Murphy (2005) identified the common challenge of dealing with
organizational challenges which can give rise to confusion and unsuccessful
responses. Teacher leaders must be able to serve in a variety of leadership roles
to advance individual and organizational goals (Gabriel, 2005).
Social and emotional leadership are approaches that can support teacher and
school improvement needs when effectively utilized (Sylwester, 1995). Current
teaching and learning challenges and mandates may cause teacher candidates to
react emotionally rather than objectively or intellectually to a situation. Emotional
reactions to challenges give rise to an action response which must be carefully
considered before implementation (Goleman, 1995). Leaders, especially teacher
leaders, “manage meaning for a group, offering a way to interpret or make sense
of, and so react emotionally to, a given situation” (Goleman, 2002, p. xii).
Teacher leader has the ability to sway perceptions, attitudes and actions of those
involved in the education process. Goleman identified this ability as a
“resonance” or the ability to positively impact the actions and attitudes of others.
Goleman (2002) identified four domains of emotional intelligence: self-
awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.
Goleman (2002) proposed that leaders must have awareness of and control over
the four domains of emotional intelligence to effectively provide leadership or to
be able to “resonate” with the feelings and attitudes of others.
C. Contribution – This paper seeks to share one approach by a school of education in
using the framework of the four domains of emotional intelligence to assess the
leadership development and dispositions of teacher candidates.
D. Relevance – Most schools of education must develop/identify dispositions that
can be explained to teacher candidates, the larger school community and those
providing assessment of the disposition, have a research or literature base, have


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