The Teacher-Leader’s Image: Between Personal Characteristics and Strategies Empowering Learners

  •  Yonit Nissim    
  •  Eitan Simon    


The present article aims to throw some light and clarify the image of the “teacher leader” as it is seen from the viewpoint of graduates and trainees in the M. Ed. program at the Ohalo Academic College. This research offers a porthole through which it is possible to observe their future role. The main research questions examined (1) How is the image of the teacher-leader visualized by the research’s population? (2) What is the desired image of the teacher-leader as described by the respondents? Which leadership traits are seen by the respondents as the most dominant/meaningful? (3) Is there a difference between the respondents’ perception of the term “teacher-leader” and their perception of the term “teacher”? (4) Is it possible to identify a main pattern that emerges from the analysis of all the respondents’ answers to the statements and the open-ended questions?

The responses to the research questions were derived from mixed method data collection and analysis. The research instrument was a validated questionnaire that was distributed to graduates and trainees in the studied program (N = 137). 54 questionnaires were completed.

The main findings indicate that all the indices investigated in the quantitative part of the questionnaire, received high grades. Thus, the image of the teacher-leader is described as an exalted role, with distinguished characteristics and especially personal relations with pupils and their staff. The mean personal relationship index was the characteristic that received the highest grades (4.76). The reliability of the indices, as measured by Cronbach’s α (α = 0.853) was found to be very high. In the qualitative part of the questionnaire, respondents were asked to conduct a deep observation and express it in their own authentic words: the respondents’ “voice”. Analysis of the responses found that the most dominant categories related to the index of personal characteristics (49) in relation to the “teacher-leader” and the teacher. Two main axes were identified from the processing of the different findings: a high level for the index of interpersonal relations with pupils and colleagues, and the central position of personal characteristics. In short, analysis of all the findings identified that there was a main trend whereby the graduates and trainees of the program see the image of the teacher-leader as holding distinct personality traits for leadership. These characteristics were translated in practice into strategies for educational work that could empower pupils, which would be expressed in improved learning achievements.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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