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Article Critique
Volume 4, Number 1
Fall 2013
Riveros, A., Newton, P., & Costa, J. (2013). From Teachers to Teacher-Leaders: A Case Study

This review critically reviews the article From Teachers to Teacher-Leaders by Augusto
Riveros, Paul Newton and Jose da Costa which appeared in International Journal of Teacher
Leadership. The review will critique the article, evaluating its focus on the study, the research
questions or hypotheses, the method and instrument used, the procedure, the findings and the
conclusion at the end of the article. Overall, the article was well written, clear and relevant.
I. Statement of the Problem
a. Research Topic

The topic of the study is to focus attention on the teachers experiences of leadership. The
authors state, teacher leadership has been positioned as a central component in discourses on
educational change and improvement. This sets the context for more specific research problem.
b. Research Problem
As the title of the article suggests, teacher leadership is from teachers to experienced
teacher-leaders. In this study, the authors offer an analysis of a province-wide teacher leadership
initiative that was administered by 2Learn.ca Society. The purpose is to introduce the innovation
and technology infusion in K-12 curricula. The concept of teacher leadership is the central to this
initiative. TLM or Teacher-Leader Model is built on the potential of teachers who had interest in
technology and leadership in their own school districts.
c. Research Questions / Hypotheses

No specific research questions or hypothesis is noted, but the authors do address the
overall context for their qualitative study. They state that we argue that these themes are of
central importance in the development of formal and informal teacher leaders. The authors
describe that there are emergences of four themes, stated under the methodology subheading
(participant demographics), during the process of conducting this study.
The sample (n) is nonrandom, over 250 teachers that involved as teacher leaders through
2Learn.ca Society and Teacher-Leader Model (TLM). The researches did not state the exact
number of teachers involved within the sample. There is no specific numbers given for the male
or female teachers involved in the study. Besides gender, the age or marital status of the teachers
involved seem not to be questioned. This shows that all the characteristics above are not required
in the study as they are not correlated with the purpose of the study. Hence, the researchers are
giving their focus on the experiences, roles and skills of a teacher leader. If there is a larger
sample with regard to all categories or characteristics, it will have aided in the data analysis,
particularly when looking for possible interactions between the variables.
The authors state this set of criteria illustrated how the Society framed the concept of
teacher leadership for the TLC program. It claims that the program will benefit the teachers who
participate as it is a process-oriented individual, with classroom experience and knowledge of
Alberta core curriculum. The last paragraph of Literature heading, the authors describe a few
attributes that a teacher-leader has till the end. Four out of the eight attributes stated are related to
the teachers experiences in teaching, in the classroom with their students.
II. Methodology
The authors state we gathered data through an iterative-inductive approach based on our
interaction with these former and current teacher leaders. They used semi-structured interviews
among the experienced teacher leadership participants as they are likely interested to describe the
correlation between the experiences that the participants felt and their growth as teachers and
educational leaders. The authors added that from the aspect of data analysis, they employed an
interpretivist framework as there is difficulty in understanding the social reality of daily life apart
from conversation and interaction.

In this study, the authors mentioned that they are able to revise the design of the research
as the patterns emerged from the data that they have collected. This allowed them to identify four
key themes. The first key was related to the processes that led to emergence of teacher leaders.
Secondly was related to the ways in which teacher leaders developed their understanding of
leadership. Thirdly was the role of professional interest and motivations in recruiting teacher
leaders. Lastly was the process that related to the organizational arrangements that facilitate the
emergence of teacher leaders. By knowing this, the researchers would be able to study the case
deeper and refined questions that to be included in their semi-structured interviews.
Selected reputational sampling or also known as a type of purposeful sampling is used by
the researchers to collect data. This type of sampling was said to be recommended by the
knowledgeable experts. In the selection of the participants, 21 former leaders who been invited to
participate in the study, are nominated by 2Learn.ca Society. It is also mentioned that the
researchers included a representative sample of more than 250 former participants, whereby they
are from variety of formal and non-formal leadership positions, and geographic area of the
province. Thus, the finding will not be too broadly generalizable and are sufficiently to provide
insights into the nature of becoming a teacher leader.
Data collection method is described in considerable detail as one would expect with a
qualitative study. The semi-structured interviews include the face-to-face interviews or video
conferencing for distance participants, with open-ended questions conducted towards the end of
the interviews. The interviews with open-ended questions are in the purpose of allowing the
participants to talk about their experiences and perceptions, besides sharing their own opinions or
understanding of the experiences with 2Learn.ca teacher leadership initiative. Further
investigation for detailed responses to ideas, which emerged during the interviews, is conducted
During the face-to-face interviews, field notes are also being taken by the researchers, as
they state the importance of highlighting the aspects of the conversations. It is said that the
emphasis and gestures are unable to record. The notes are also taken in the purpose of registering
the themes and topics that appeared during the conversations between the researchers and the

By the last paragraph, in the first heading Introduction, the authors state over 20,000
pages of curriculum-related resources are created by the participants as the product of their
participation in the initiative. The resources are said to be helpful to the researchers as this helped
them to have the ability to describe the contexts within which participants worked. By using this
method in this study, it is said to become more refined as the knowledge of the researchers grew
and the questions for the interviews are also refined over time.
As stated earlier by the researchers, the main purpose of this study is to investigate the
former participants experiences and their development as teacher leaders, in 2Learn.ca / TLC.
The authors explain that they managed to interview only 21 out of the 250 participants, due to
time and budgetary constraints. They prepared the details of the respondents in a form of a table
of two columns, which the first column is the role of the participants and the second column is
the number of participants; written as N (sample).
All the interviews, field notes and resources were digitally audio-recorded, transcribed
and examined for themes.
III. Results and Conclusions
The authors begin by relating their findings back to the overall purpose of the study, to
investigate teachers experiences of leadership. To that end, they identify several themes.
Teacher leaders generally emerge through informal processes of leadership in their
schools and school districts is the first theme whereby the teachers commented how they
understand teacher leadership and their experiences during the 2Learn.ca tenure. The authors
state there is an argument by the respondent of this study regarding the concern of teacher
leadership in the education system and suggestion is made about the importance of teacher
leadership as a mechanism and its development for better student learning. Others are
suggesting teacher leadership is a set of skill, state the two forms of teacher leadership; formal
and informal. The authors also state the differences of characteristics and roles between these
two forms, for better understanding.
Teacher leaders develop a broader understanding of educational leadership and policy
when they work across jurisdictions and school contexts is the second theme noted. The authors

state one of the questions asked to the respondent regarding his role of being classroom teacher
to a larger leadership role within the system. His responses, he is more professional as he
changes from the aspect of mannerism. The authors state the experiences of being a teacher to
higher leadership, broader the perspective what is the meaning of leadership and the processes
of the policy, which underlie teaching practices. This brings better understanding of the
participants on these matters and the impact in classroom practices.
The next theme state by the authors is teacher leaders can be recruited into broader
leadership roles by attending to their professional interests and passions. From the theme, it is
the interest and passion of the teachers to be involved in 2Learn initiative. The authors added it is
not the advancement of leadership and career becomes the main goals of the teachers as the
processes of teacher leadership that emerged during the 2Learn.ca project as key mechanism for
the development of their leadership skills and aspirations. This theme also referred to in the first
theme, the importance of teacher leadership as a mechanism. This shows there is correlation
emerges between the importance of teacher leadership and the passion or interest within the
The last theme of this study is teacher leaders require flexible structures in the school
that facilitate the development of trust and collegiality with their peers. There is a significant
difference on the building and collaboration of Teacher-Leaders. The argument from the
respondents is the evident on the collegial relationship with other teachers which teacher
leadership is more about everybody and not just about me. It is about enhancing others to do
something new and different during their teaching process. But, the authors state there is an issue
of trust development among the teachers. Even so, there is a suggestion made that TeacherLeader needs credibility as teacher in order to successfully build relationship and influence other
teachers. Thus, the establishment of trust with one and another through the collegial relationship
are based on sense of sharing of professional identity is the evident from the interviewed
In conclusion, the authors state that the beliefs and experiences of school teachers do
correlated with teachers leadership. They assert their case study also shows the establishment of
the leadership roles through the professional initiative development. They also conclude that this

case study offers useful sights into practical strategies to identify and motivate teachers
interested in leadership roles in school even this is not their primary purpose. However, they
also recognize their conclusions require caution in interpretation due to such variables as the
teachers experience and roles. In this study, the researches state they used a qualitative method,
had drawn their conclusion to limit, in terms of generalization. Finally, overall of this study does
show congruency between the research questions, the methodology and the findings of the study.
As additional, there is no future research suggested by the authors in this study by the end of the