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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Teacher Collective Efficacy in Student Engagement

As an evidence based practitioner-scholar, my main focus is to identify predictors of school and student outcomes to better meet the needs of all learners. I do my best to stay engaged with the school leadership literature to remain current in practice and to help bridge the gap that often exists between research and practice. While I browsed the literature earlier today, I came across a study conducted by Curtis S. Chandler at Kansas State University (you can access it here) and was immediately attracted to read it.

The purpose of Chandler's (2014) work was to look at relationships between social persuasion variables of schools and teacher collective efficacy in student engagement, which is an element of collective teacher efficacy. Having done some work in a related area that you can read about here, I was interested to learn more about the relationships between these variables, as well as the predictive value of each, and what it might mean for me as a principal.

Chandler reported that the use of performance feedback, perceptions of professional development opportunities, and perceptions of school leadership were related with and predicted teacher collective efficacy in student engagement. Together, perceptions of professional development and perceptions of school leadership explained 37% of the variance in teacher collective efficacy in student engagement. As practitioners, we can take away the following from these results:

  1. The importance of providing teachers with meaningful feedback continues to surface as a variable that might improve school and student outcomes. In our current era of teacher evaluation reform, however, I'm not so sure that providing meaningful feedback is the focus. 
  2. Worthwhile professional development opportunities matter, so school leaders need to commit to investing in the continued learning of teachers and other school staff.  
  3. Teachers' perceptions of school leadership are important to improve collective efficacy in student engagement. 
I think this an important study, because with a focus on providing meaningful teacher feedback and worthwhile professional development opportunities, school leaders can strive to improve teacher collective efficacy in student engagement. As an element of collective teacher efficacy, a focus on this variable might provide school leaders with another avenue to pursue to improve school and student outcomes.


Please share your comments and feedback.



Source
Chandler, C.S. (2014). The influence of school factors on teacher efficacy in student engagement. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University.


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