Teacher Leadership CAGS

Mission and Vision

The mission of the CAGS Graduate Program in Teacher Leadership at the UMass Boston College of Education and Human Development is to provide accomplished career teachers with the professional knowledge, skills and dispositions for leadership in the classroom, the school, and the community.


Teacher leadership answers pressing concerns for a career ladder for professional teachers. Massachusetts currently offers professional licensure, which must be attained within the first five years of teaching. Beyond this, teachers must renew their certification every five years, but there are no further stages for development. 


Teacher leadership is exercised on four levels.

  1. Teacher leaders are exemplary teachers in their own classroom. They practice action research in combination with quantitative data analysis to improve teaching and learning. Some exemplary teachers may decide to also pursue certification with the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. 
  2. Teacher leaders serve in leadership roles outside the classroom through modeling, mentoring and coaching. They may lead school data teams, or professional learning communities, or spearhead parental engagement, or collaborate with community partners. The practice of teacher leadership underscores a democratic approach to education that honors professional expertise and promises shared decision-making.
  3. Teacher leaders are a vital component of whole-school change. In concert with the principal, parents and other stakeholders, they are important contributors to a culture of achievement. For example, they can lead professional development activities or serve on school site councils. Today the traditional model of heroic one-person school leadership is being replaced with models of distributed leadership and teacher leaders are emerging as an important component in school reform, especially in turnaround school policy. 
  4. Finally, some teacher leaders may choose to serve at the district, state or federal level on policy advising groups or in advocacy work.


For more information, please contact:

Jack Leonard, EdD

Educational Administration and Teacher Leadership

Office: Wheatley Hall, First Floor, Room 076a

617.287.7601 (department office)

617.287.4026 (personal office)