Teacher leadership in developing crisis education responses in Africa and Latin America
In 2020, countries around the world moved to temporarily close educational institutions in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This UNESCO-commissioned report presents the findings from a series of rapid country case studies carried out in under two months at the height of the pandemic in six low- and middle- income countries in Africa and Latin America: Brazil (Maranhão state), El Salvador, The Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, and Mozambique. Its goal is to provide emerging evidence of teacher leadership during the COVID-19 crisis, and to consider the ways in which teacher leadership can enhance education system resilience during times of education emergencies and crises. Teacher leadership during COVID-19 in this study is defined as a form of grassroots or bottom-up approaches to teacher-led initiatives, occurring at the classroom level, school level and/or community level.
The report demonstrates that teachers have the motivation and capacity for leadership – defined as taking self-initiated action – during times of crisis and emergency. It suggests that teacher leadership is an under-recognized and under-exploited resource in education systems and more can be done to strengthen teacher leadership and to activate teachers as a central pillar in any plan for resilience in education.