Developing Teacher Leaders
Authors: Dava Coleman, Sheila Jones

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4. Results
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1. In the comparison of the Lead Teacher rating system to the PRISM-defined lead teachers' roles and responsibilities, it was determined that overall the activities listed on the districts' rating systems are strongly correlated with the Defining Lead Teacher Roles and Responsibilities document's categories as determined by responses to the PRISM Lead Teacher Survey.  It is clear from the wording of the activities on the rating system's checklist that the roles and responsibility document guided the rating system's development. Overall, the activities listed on the districts' logs are strongly correlated with the Defining Lead Teacher Roles and Responsibilities document's categories.  Lead teachers participated in many of the areas rewarded on the checklist, although many of the activities that were highly rewarded in the point systems (e.g., attending lead teacher meetings and support for evaluation activities) were not part of the survey. Very few lead teachers presented their work with learning community teachers to others. 

2. Pre-and Post-Assessment given at the PRISM Lead Teacher Academies showed that the academy did meet the intended purpose of ensuring PRISM Lead Teachers who were selected by their school to be leaders of science and mathematics reform were able to:

  • Understand their own leadership style;
  • Apply effective leadership practices;
  • Understand the components of PRISM;
  • Understand the responsibilities of a lead teacher;
  • Effectively use data to determine professional learning needs of others;
  • Engage in practices that contribute to effective professional learning;
  • Understand the critical levels of professional learning evaluation; and
  • Lead fellow educators to effective professional learning.

Participants pre-assessment ratings results: Most ratings were in the 2=some knowledge or ability to apply with a few in the 3=basic knowledge or ability to apply columns.  Participants post-assessment results: Most ratings moved to the 4=thorough knowledge or ability to apply or 5=consistent, expert knowledge and ability to apply columns.

3. Participant evaluations of the PRISM Lead Teacher Academies have consistently been positive with regard to learning outcomes and informative in determining the direction of future professional development.   Related to Academy goals, 90% of respondents said they gained a clear understanding of the goals of PRISM, 84% gained an understanding of the expectations of PRISM Lead Teachers, and 77% said they learned about different leadership practices.  As for personal skills, 78% identified their leadership strengths, 78% gained understanding of the effective uses of data for improving student achievement in math and science, and 75% said they gained skills to lead professional development in science and math. 

4. Results of the 2005-06 PRISM Lead Teacher survey indicates that almost all said they had attended training at the state or regional levels on how to establish and facilitate effective learning communities. Survey results indicated that most worked with learning communities in a variety of ways (e.g., facilitated learning communities, worked with colleagues in learning communities to identify students' math and science needs; determined professional learning needs of learning community colleagues; and  helped colleagues in PRISM Learning Communities study different inquiry strategies).  Lead teachers also played a significant role in providing professional development for their colleagues and communicating with them regularly regarding professional learning opportunities.  When asked about challenges, lack of time was the most frequently identified challenge, but they were unable to suggest possible solutions. 

Finally, PRISM has increased the capacity for teacher leadership in the schools.  In one region 17% of the PRISM Lead Teachers have now been re-assigned into leadership positions (e.g., associate principals, science or math coordinators, instructional lead teachers, or department heads).