Leadership with a Conscience: Narratives on Teacher Leadership from Two Secondary School Teachers from Western Kenya

Irene Simiyu & Clement  Mulumbi Eyinda

 

Abstract

Leadership in schools has for a long time been associated with the school headship that enjoys authority supported by the hiring body and the school sponsors. In recent times however, there has been effort to shift this headship oriented leadership to bring in teachers and other stakeholders. This is in keeping with the notion of distributed leadership where group members pool their expertise without seeking formal positions or roles. It is through such views that teachers are encouraged to find their voices and exploit their potential as leaders and change agents. A teacher leader is one who leads within and beyond the classroom, identifies with and contributes to other teachers’ and learners’ welfare and empowerment. These efforts by the teacher leader are driven by the moral purpose of achieving educational goals, hence leading to school improvement and effectiveness. Teacher Leadership is a new concept in Kenya contexts and thus the need for its introduction to be accompanied by an understanding of the school culture within which it will operate. Yet change in any school system is never easy. It is complex and involves risk taking especially where there is change of power structures. This article presents our narratives -- two secondary school teachers from Western Kenya and our efforts to be model teacher leaders. The paper brings out the challenges and possibilities of teacher leadership in a Kenyan secondary school. It also points out the merits of teacher leadership that include increased teacher participation in school matters, improved teacher confidence, development of knowledge and skills in the teacher leader and the establishment of a culture of trust that allows collaboration to grow among teachers. We recommend that with the support of school heads, teachers should take up their position as leaders within and outside their classrooms and schools.

Key words: Teacher Leadership, distributed leadership, school improvement, school effectiveness, school culture, change.

Contacts: Irene Simiyu. 

 

 

To cite this article: Irene Simiyu & Clement  Mulumbi Eyinda (2016).  Leadership with a Conscience: Narratives on Teacher Leadership from Two Secondary School Teachers from Western Kenya, Journal of African Studies in Educational Management and Leadership   Vol. 7.2, pp, 27-2016 

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  Available online December 2016
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