Teacher leader fosters a collaborative learning culture by building interpersonal relationships with teachers and designing opportunities and sustainable structures for teachers to effectively collaborate to improve student learning.
The authors suggest that the results provide preliminary support for efforts to improve student achievement by providing teachers with opportunities to collaborate on issues related to curriculum, instruction, and professional development. The authors also discuss the need for more research on the effects of different types of collaborative practices using more representative samples.
Teacher collaboration is an essential element of substantive school change which principals have responsibility for cultivating. As such, it is becoming increasingly important for school leaders to employ models of supervision that focus on the performance and improvement of collective teacher behavior. In this article, the authors present a field-tested, action-research leadership framework for evaluating the quality and improving the performance of teacher collaboration at the secondary school level.
One hundred twenty-one teachers from nine junior high schools in one town in Israel responded to the teacher efficacy questionnaire, as well as to a questionnaire assessing the extent to which teachers collaborated with one another. Results indicated that teachers who implemented cooperative learning most frequently also expressed a higher level of efficacy in promoting the learning of slow students than did other teachers. Teachers who reported a higher level of collaboration with colleagues also expressed a higher level of general teaching efficacy and of efficacy in enhancing students’ social relations than did teachers who reported a low level of collaboration with colleagues.
Talbert lists key conditions that enable professional learning communities to flourish: they must establish norms of collaboration, focus on students and their academic performance, grant access to a wide range of learning resources for individuals and the group, and demonstrate mutual accountability for student growth and success. Talbert goes on to say that creating these conditions is the most persistent challenge facing systems trying to build PLCs, especially in systems lacking in material resources, and works through the particular challenges of achieving each condition.
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