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The Work of CSMP Teacher Leaders: A Summary of Key Findings From a Statewide Survey

author: Inverness Research Associates
submitter: Mark St. John
description: This is one of three reports (Including The Contributions of Teacher Leaders and The Work of Teacher Leaders) wrriten by Inverness Associates on the California Subject Matter Projects (CSMP). "The CSMPs consist of nine Projects providing professional development in nine different 101 regional sites--all of which are designed to attract, develop, nurture, sustain, and promote teacher leadership."

This report examines the scale and nature of CSMP teacher leadership statewide and assesses the work of individual sites in determining the degree that they were successful in developing and deploying teacher leaders.

published in: Inverness Research Associates
published: 1999
posted to site: 01/14/1999


This study focused on gathering data from teacher leaders in order to understand more accurately the scale and scope of CSMP teacher leadership activities around the state. At the time this report is completed (June 1997), a second teacher leadership survey is being distributed by all 98 CSMP sites. This survey will focus more closely on the nature of the interaction between classroom practice and teacher leadership, and, in particular, focus on the ways in which teacher leaders use assessment practices and information to inform their own teaching.

The study findings presented here confirm the fact that CSMP sites are quite capable of supporting and deploying teacher leadership. Yet underneath this broad finding there are questions that remain unanswered:

  • Why is there such large variation between sites and Projects in terms of the degree to which they are able to support and deploy large numbers of teacher leaders?
  • What are the characteristics and approaches of the most successful sites?
  • What ways do sites use to recruit new teacher leaders and, at the same time, provide ongoing opportunities for their most veteran teacher leaders?
  • How do the activities that teacher leaders carry out in school and district-based workshops compare, in their nature and their quality, to the kinds of activities Projects are able to offer in their invitational institutes?
  • How do teacher leader activities sponsored by the CSMPs support and/or contribute to other more local reform efforts such as school restructuring activities?

The CSMPs can rightfully be proud of the accomplishments outlined in these findings, but the questions listed above suggest that the CSMPs are also very much at a point where they can use their accomplishments as a basis for learning even more. If they can continue to learn from themselves and build upon their successes, the CSMPs will progress even further in their efforts to create, support and employ teacher leadership throughout the state.

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