As you can see from the puzzle above the literature review is the most extensive, significant and capacious part in the research writing process. Moreover, the literature review is one of the most demanding tasks in the thesis writing. However, someone may supose that choosing a research topic and focus is rather difficult. But I think choosing a general thesis topic is relatively easy, but deciding on specific and realistic research questions requires considerable thought and enquiry. Appropriate and relevant research questions and the methods employed to answer them must be framed in the context of existing research. Furthermore, I would emphasize that a thorough, refined literature review is the foundation of solid research.
The topic of my research is teacher leadership, whereas the main focus of the study is teachers` and principal’s perception and understanding of teacher leadership concept. In this regard, the main two research questions are going to guide my paper. The first research question: How do teachers and principals of selected school of Astana perceive the concept of teacher leadership? The second – How English teachers are experiencing leadership roles and addressing leadership distribution issues in their school? According to these research questions I organize my main themes and categories and designed concept (literature) map. This schedule is greatly contributing my deeper understanding of the issue. Moreover, it helps me grouping authors, who draw similar conclusions and noting areas in which authors are in disagreement. As a result, I can see three sections that will organize and structure my literature review. Firstly, I will discuss the definition and original meaning of teacher leadership. It is very interesting because different scholars define this issue from absolutely controversial angles. Secondly, I will critically analyze and evaluate findings provided by authors on teachers` perception of leadership. Thirdly, I would like to gather a representative collection of pertinent discussions about the ways school principals define teacher leadership, as well as how they perceive the roles, characteristics and qualities of teacher leaders.
However, determining which literature is relevant to your research is challenging. Concerning challenges in finding and processing resources I would name four main difficulties: identifying relevant key words to search appropriate sources; relying on secondary rather than primary sources; existing gaps in research from Kazakhstani context; blindly accepting other researchers’ findings rather than critically examining them. Moreover, sometimes it seems I have found solid and reputable peer-reviewed article, however it is not available as a full text version.
In overall literature review writing process I am at the stage of searching and processing peer-reviewed, updated and credible resources from Eric, Sage Journals, Google Scholar, Taylor and Francis databases and Nazarbayev University library sources. During this month I have been working on selecting scholarly papers and reviewing them. From last thesis seminar session I have found fifteen articles and nowadays I have selected eight more articles and one book. Fortunately, I have discovered that there are numerous studies on teacher leadership conducted in the frame of Kazakhstan and Central Asia by David Frost, John Macbeath, Silova and Niyozov.