Teacher Leadership Traits

In this assignment, you will read about various theoretical and practical approaches to leadership that decentralize control and are designed to fully utilize organizational members as resources for leadership. In schools, that means they promote the use of teachers as leaders. You will also read about traits exhibited by effective leaders. Leadership is a topic where the lines between scientific theory, philosophical theory, and practical approaches or models tend to blur, but most leadership models or approaches are theory-based. These philosophical and scientific theories and their practical applications as leadership models or approaches are variously labeled as distributed, shared, democratic, ecological, participatory, moral, servant, parallel, and trait-based. They all address in some way the relationship between community and leadership and how each promotes and strengthens the other. They each identify or allude to the type of individual characteristics of effective leaders in organizational situations or systems and address teamwork and collaboration.

You will choose three of these theory-based models of leadership and describe, compare, and contrast them using at least one peer-reviewed article for each. The readings for the module and articles referenced at the end of these directions should be useful, and other peer-reviewed articles you may find are also acceptable if they explain leadership.

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The theory-based leadership models that commonly decentralize control can be contrasted with the more traditional trait-based theories, meaning theories focusing on personality traits and other assets good leaders share. Transformational leadership, which has received much attention in the last 20 years, focuses on the traits of position leaders who can inspire others and transform organizations. However, it is arguably a trait theory that is compatible with the various theory-based models listed previously that share leadership among members or enable all members to emerge as leader, at least informally. Among these the situational, ecological, and distributed leadership models are perhaps the least focused on the position leader with power and authority. These three are the most compatible with the notion of teachers leading themselves collaboratively and by creating a community in which the needs and problems at any particular time result in the teacher(s) most suited to lead emerging as leaders.

  • View/Download the Assignment Resources (PDF) for reference.
  • Create a Word document for your response.
  • Create a title page and references page in APA format. Use APA format for the narrative portions of the assignment.
  • Begin with an Introduction, and end with a summary or conclusion.
  • Use, cite, and reference a minimum of three expert sources.
  • Follow the steps to complete the assignment.

In a 5- to 8-page narrative:

Step 1. Identify, describe, compare, and contrast the three leadership theories/models/approaches you select.

Step 2. Address how community and leadership are related for each model

Step 3. Explain how teachers emerge as leaders.

Step 4. Describe what characteristics teachers need to contribute meaningfully as leaders.

Step 5. Identify which if any of these models characterizes how things are in your school today or what you think it would take to bring about leadership consistent with one or more of them.

NOTE: The Assignment Resources PDF (linked above) lists articles that address one or more of the theory-based approaches to leadership listed previously. They may be useful in comparing and contrasting a few models. They are alphabetized within categories and not listed in order of relevance or likely value.

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