Theme of the month

Theme of the Month

Join us each month as we focus on a topic of interest to STEM Teacher Leaders with a webinar panel, open discussion, resources and blog post. 

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Join the Discussion! Global Perspectives on Teacher Leadership for Whole Child Education

Join this facilitated conversation to discuss how teacher leadership can accelerate the system of whole child education needed now more than ever.  The conversation will bring together sound evidence, big ideas, and actionable next steps that we all need to take! We invite your participation!


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Hi, if you were not able to attend the webinar please view the recording. If you possibly can please read the two following papers that we have posted (freely accessible) in the Theme of the month resources:

1. Teacher Leadership for Whole Child Education: A Global Perspective, by Barnett Berry, Linda Darling-Hammond and Anthony Mackay

2. Learning on purpose: Ten lessons in placing student agency at the heart of schools by Charles Leadbeater

I really liked this paper as it gave very practical ways to make substantial change within a district or school. What did you think?

Looking forward to a really interesting exchange about what you think about Whole Child Education and if this is talked about (or not) in your district. Also if teachers are empowered to suggest, create, and implement change? Has this changed at all during the pandemic?

Looking forward to hearing from you!! Comments, Questions? Our panelists and discussants will join us too. 


Tue, 03/08/2022 - 2:27 PM Permalink
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Last eve's convo was riveting. While so many teachers are under the thumb of high accountability regimes (across the globe), classroom experts are finding and learning from each -- and leading in spite of the system. We need to elevate these examples - and support teachers, students, and parents working together to drive whole child education

One of the issues raised last eve from Chanda and many others is that we often look to top performing nations for models of teacher leadership there is so much to learn from developing nations (e.g., Africa and more) where collective leadership models prevail. 


Tue, 03/08/2022 - 3:06 PM Permalink

Thanks for reiterating this point Barnett! We can glean from many developing nations and indigenous groups as we develop recommendations for Teacher Leadership models. My colleague Joel Truesdale is a master teacher in indigenous practices and I believe that we can draw parallels between teacher leaders and tribal elders.

Fri, 03/18/2022 - 1:42 PM Permalink
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 I have been slow to post...ruminating a bit on all that I heard. I haven't read the papers yet but I did download them and I plan to read them both very soon.   

 I am thinking  about the whole child. Now is the time to break down the silos. I come from a school where we had multiage classes not because of the school budget but because we believed it was the best structure for our students. We had not only multiage classes but we had gardens otuside each of our classroom which we planted each spring and harvested each fall. We did things like whole school learning about oceans where we would spend a whole year investigating, reading, writing and speaking about oceans K-6. We culminated these learning expereinces with a whole school trip to the ocean.

This  is very different way of learning than what appears to be occuring in classrooms now with subjects separated by the clock and pacing guides instead of learning in a cohesive manner.

When I think about my own time as teacher leader I realize how very lucky I was . My principal supported me, encouraged and nurtured me as a leader. If I was in a school now what would the situation be ?

  • Would I, could I spread my wings and learn to fly as a teacher leader?
  • Where would I find my support?

I would probably reach out in two ways...I would either begin to pursue the classes I needed to become more of a traditionally recognized leader or I might reach out to socail media.

I know of many blossoming teacher leaders in science that are on Twitter and I hope I am offering them kernels of leadership in science that are digestible. These science leaders are the movers and shakers in their own school system but the support they need often comes from outside the system. How do we change the system?

It's time for a change in science education, in all education!

Teacher leaders need support from their administration, their community , and their colleagues.

  • How can we invent the new roles of the teacher leader to think about teaching children first,  the curriculum later? 
  • What does teacher leadership with the whole child in mind look like?
  • What teacher leadership look like when we think about it globally? 

It's time for the conversations to begin.



Wed, 03/09/2022 - 9:30 PM Permalink

I appreciate these questions as guides in next steps. I believe policymakers hold great sway over how easily these questions can be investigated. I would like to see more research on the cases cited outside the United States and in the culturally-centered education models. I believe there are answers, it will take some digging and networking to find them. 

Thu, 03/10/2022 - 4:36 PM Permalink

Kathy, thanks so much. Building on your eloquent words with a few sentences: (1) Recognize teachers who teach to the whole child; (2) Do so for schools as well. (3) Create policy and practice roadmaps for new system; (4) Reinvent school structures for teachers to innovate without leaving the classroom. 

Multiage groups for students 

And Charles Leadbetter's words are the best: 

"Here is the iron law of co-agency: it is impossible for students to develop agency unless teachers themselves are agents, trusted by theschool and the wider system to craft and design learning with students. Students only become agents when capable teachers do as well."

Sat, 03/19/2022 - 9:06 AM Permalink
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I thoroughly enjoyed last night's conversations and I think that it is imperative for us to explore cultural strategies to help develop recommendations for effective whole child education. To prepare for this talk I read the article, along with the book, The Healing Wisdom of Africa by Malidoma Some. Part Two of the book focuses on the Relationships of Healing the community. Collective action with all educational stakeholders will lead to innovative solutions to reimagine education. 

Fri, 03/18/2022 - 1:21 PM Permalink
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