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Tan, L. S., Letchmi Devi Ponnusamy, & Tan, K. C. K. (2018). Developing teacher leadership in pedagogical practice. In T. S. Koh & D. Hung (Eds.), Leadership for change: The Singapore schools' experience (pp. 169-202). Singapore; Hackensack, N.J.: World Scientific, 2018.
In this chapter, we argue that teacher leadership cannot be fostered simply by instituting leadership positions and different career paths but it requires a deliberate effort to build a culture for self-improvement. We build this culture by emphasizing pedagogical inquiry in teachers’ work and providing space to promote ownership and agentic behaviours. The goal would be for teachers to demonstrate leadership to enable the educational system to become self-improving and move towards purposeful learning. In order to help readers appreciate Singapore’s quest to increase quality teaching in its centralised educational system, we traces Singapore’s efforts in developing teachers as professionals. Next, we identify three pathways for the development of teacher leadership. Then, we go on to share insights from our study on a system-level professional development programme that aims to engender a culture of teacher leadership capable of bringing about life-long, life-wide, life-deep and life-wise learning for our students. Finally, we highlight the issues and challenges in teacher leadership implementation.
This is the final draft of a book chapter published by World Scientific. The published version is available at
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