Each teacher in a school can make a difference in a student’s life, even with the most disenfranchised and apathetic students. And, as a group of teachers together who all believe they can make a difference in a school, there is no doubt that student and teacher attitudes and achievement will positively change.
That’s what John Hattie calls “collective efficacy” (2016). It is a shared belief that through collective action, teachers can influence student outcomes. He believes that collective teacher efficacy is directly related to student achievement. If the teachers and school community believe they can help students achieve and move learning forward, they will.
Think of the little engine that could…a story of optimism, a “can do” attitude, and a growth mindset!
Godard, Hoy, and Hoy (2000) later reported that a stronger collective teacher efficacy has a deeper effect… a stronger collective teacher efficacy encourages individual teachers to use their skills more effectively. There seems to be a ripple effect and a cumulative effect… the more I learn from my peers, the better prepared I am as an individual.
Hattie’s research indicates that the effect of teacher efficacy is more than twice that of feedback and three times greater than classroom management (Hattie, J. The Applicability of Visible Learning to Higher Education, 2016). Understanding this impact, school communities need to embrace the notion of ongoing professional learning as a job-embedded teacher talent development model. That is, develop the talent in the building individually and collectively.
This research on collective efficacy resonates loud and clear.
Instructional coaches move teachers into the role of architect. They help teachers find their voices, grow their voices, take control of their learning, and focus on professional learning that is designed to influence student achievement. They help teachers establish strong, trusting relationships with each other while building capacity and cultivating skills that yield growth. That means student growth and also teacher growth.
If everyone in the school community believed that each student, teacher, and administrator could individually and collectively influence student outcomes, what a world this would be!
How do you reinforce collective teacher efficacy in your school?