‘The International Teacher Leadership project,’ a case of international action research.
The paper arises from the International Teacher Leadership project, a research and development project involving researchers and practitioners in 14 European countries. The paper provides a conceptual exploration of the idea of teacher leadership and its role in educational reform, central to which is the idea that teachers, regardless of their level of power and organisational position, can engage in the leadership of enquiry-based development activity aimed at influencing their colleagues and embedding improved practices in their schools. The paper provides an outline of the project’s methodology which builds on that used in the Carpe Vitam Leadership for Learning project (Frost, 2008a). It is a form of collaborative action research which is highly developmental and discursive. It seeks to identify principles, strategies and tools that can be applied in a range of cultural settings. The paper includes a thematic analysis of the cultural contexts and policy environments of the participating countries in order to identify the obstacles to teacher leadership and to inform the nature of the support strategies employed.