Public Perception of Teacher Leaders
Louis L. Warren
Teacher leaders function in a community context that supports or constrains their leadership depending on stakeholders’ and community members’ perceptions of teacher leaders. Positive public perceptions cultivate a conducive environment that supports teacher leaders in decision-making, while negative perceptions create barriers to effective leadership. This paper examines public perceptions of teacher leaders and their influence on the leaders’ leadership practices and experiences. The article is a review examining studies on public perceptions of leaders from various global cultures. The findings were: a) cultural contexts highly influence the public’s perceptions of teacher leaders, b) teacher leaders’ social competence affects public perceptions, and c) gender stereotypes affect public views on teachers and teacher leadership. The paper also reveals that these factors can affect teachers’ decision to take on leadership positions and teacher leaders’ behavior and decision-making process. These findings call for more in-depth research on the impact of public perceptions on effective teacher leadership and decision-making.