Teacher Leadership

The Teacher Leadership concentration is designed for experienced classroom teachers who are passionate about making a difference in education and who aspire to take leadership roles in their school and district. Teacher leaders work alongside school principals to assist in improvement and reform efforts at the school level.

The program explores leadership styles, leverages the latest research to guide decision-making, and provides educators with the knowledge and practical skills to lead in areas such as curriculum development, instructional improvement, professional development and peer coaching/mentoring. The program is built on the Teacher Leader Model Standards developed by the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium (teacherleaderstandards.org).

Please Note: This new program is effective as of Fall 2013.

Students may pursue the teacher leadership concentration in conjunction with a MEd in Educational Leadership or they may choose to take four courses (12 credits) to earn a graduate certificate in teacher leadership on its own.

Program of Study

    • Master’s Core Component – 12 credits
    • 3
      Seeks to examine the manner in which the behavior, feelings, or thoughts of one individual are influenced by the behavior or characteristics of others. Topics to be considered include social perception, attitudes, gender, social cognition, conflict, social influence, intercultural awareness, prejudice, discrimination, aggression, and group behavior. Fall, spring, and summer.
    • - OR -
    • 3
      This course provides an in-depth look of the use of technology with diverse learners. An overview of two federal laws (IDEA and NCLB) and the examination of the research of learning technologies will be presented. Students will be engaged in hands-on experience with desktop software, online resources and specialized software designed to support diverse learners. Opportunities will be provided for students to develop classroom activities and curriculum planning guidelines for integrating technology tools into the content areas to accommodate a range of student learning differences.
    • - OR -
    • 3
      This course will provide an in-depth study of the social/cultural basis of behavior and examine the role of mythology as a vehicle for intrapersonal and interpersonal understanding. The major theoretical, empirical, and applied lines of work in the following topics in contemporary social psychology will be explored, including social cognition, interpersonal perception, attitudes, stereotyping and prejudice, the self, and interpersonal and group relations. Mythology will be employed as a mechanism for cross-cultural comparison and as a unifying construct to enhance multicultural understanding.
    • 3
      A study of the historical, philosophical, and social-philosophic foundations of education. Emphasis is placed upon the ideas of the classical, medieval, Enlightenment, and post-Enlightenment periods that have influenced types of American educational systems relative to their mission and purpose. Analysis of how these systems have defined ethics and the characteristics of the virtuous person.
    • 3
      The emphasis throughout this course is on the practical application of appraisal techniques in education. Critical concepts related to assessment and the integration of assessment into teaching and learning include: the role of assessment in teaching, how validity is determined, factors influencing reliability, avoiding stereotypes, understanding and using numerical data, using standardized assessment to improve instruction, and ideas and strategies for mining and reporting assessment data.
    • 3
      An overview of current theories concerning the brain, development, and learning. Analysis of developmental concepts from birth through adolescence and adulthood. Discussion of language acquisition, thinking and learning styles, multiple intelligence, and creativity. Topics include teaching, learning, and assessment issues related to cultural diversity, technology, and learning differences.
      • Teacher Leadership Component – 12 credits
      • 3
        A course for teaching/administrative practitioners in which a local educational problem is examined from the standpoint of how it can best be studied and solved. A blueprint for solving the problem is prepared including: statement and purpose, scope, assumptions/hypotheses, limitations and essential definitions. Course culmination will include collection of data, analysis of that data, conclusions and recommendation preparation that follow appropriate form and style.
      • 3
        Dynamic Teacher Leadership is a course designed for the master/experienced classroom teacher/specialist who is passionate about making a difference in education and aspires to take or is currently involved in a leadership role in his/her school and district. Current best practices will be examined, along with emerging standards in the area of teacher leadership. The various ways in which an educator can apply leadership skills, without being an administrator in a school, will be explored.
      • 3
        It is the responsibility of all educators to participate in ongoing professional development. It is through this high level of professional engagement that educators gain the knowledge they need to be successful in the classroom. This course examines alternative ways of providing individualized, sustained professional development opportunities within their work environment. Participants will review levels of advocacy and how they might become educational advocates within their organizations.
      • 3
        Becoming a teacher leader includes understanding and responding to all stakeholders involved in education. Stakeholders include not only those directly involved in education such as student and parents, but also the extended community.
        • Elective Component – 6 credits

Choose two courses (minimum 6 credits) with advisor approval.

    • Capstone Experience – 3-6 credits
    • 3
      The purpose of the graduate capstone is to apply knowledge learned in previous coursework through an approved project. Capstone projects should focus on the following questions: How will the theories learned throughout the program be integrated into a coherent project or experience? How will this work enhance individual career goals? Who are the stakeholders and how will this work assist them? How does this work serve the professional community? How will this work help move the profession forward? Process: Students should plan for approximately 40 hours of work per credit to be earned. The total number of credits earned must be approved by their advisor and noted on their program contract. Candidates must submit Graduate Capstone Project forms with their registration and Capstone Projects must be approved by candidates' advisors and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies. Once completed, candidates are expected to present their final products to their adviser and/or PSU faculty members. Students who anticipate working on their project for more than one term should register for the appropriate number of credits in each term so that they remain registered throughout the course of the project.
    • - OR -
    • 3
      A research project that requires students to demonstrate the ability to synthesize salient elements from the core, professional and specialty areas. In essence, the student's research should be the natural result of the focus and direction of planned study. The project should emanate from the area of specialization and incorporate relevant concepts learned through coursework and experience. Using sound research practices, a student should illustrate ability to interpret, reflect, summarize and conclude. The written product of this effort will be defended in a seminar before faculty and the student's peers. Students should contact the advisor to plan for this project. Topic approval is needed from the advisor and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies. Offered according to demand.
    • - OR -
    • 6
      Students select a topic for study in consultation with their program advisor and related faculty. A time-line, thesis publication and defense are outlined. Three copies of the thesis must be submitted with a bound copy that remains on file in the College of Graduate Studies office.
    • Total for MEd in Educational Leadership, Teacher Leadership Concentration – 33–36

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