Collective Teacher Efficacy (CTE) is the collective belief of the staff of the school / faculty in their ability to positively affect students. CTE has been found to be strongly, positively correlated with student achievement. In other words, a school staff that believes it can collectively accomplish great things is vital for the health of a school, and if they believe that they can make a positive difference with students then they very likely will.
John Hattie, conducted a ground-breaking study “Visible Learning” in which he ranked various influences related to learning and achievement according to their effect sizes to find the answer to the question, “What works best in education?”
During his most recent study, Hattie constructed a list of 150 visible effects from a meta-analysis of over 1200 research studies. He found that the average effect size of all the interventions he studied was 4.0. The effect that comes in first place in his most recent study at 1.62 is the teacher’s estimate of student achievement.
CTE, which came in second from the top with its effect size of d=1.57 is huge: it is more than two times bigger than that of feedback (d=0.72), and almost three times bigger than the effect of classroom management (d=0.52).
So, what does that mean? A school or district with a strong sense of CTE can yield over 3 years of student growth in one year.
The message seems to be clear: what teachers believe about their students matters, and together, teachers can achieve more, especially if they collectively believe that they can do so.
So, what are the key strategies for developing greater CTE? According to Dr. Bobby Moore, from the Epic Impact Education Group, every school leader needs to know that high levels of CTE usually only exists when:
- The principal is a learner who is viewed as an instructional leader,
- There is trust in the school leader, and
- A culture of purposeful teacher collaboration has been established.
These schools (and staff) will sometimes assign blame. You may hear things like, “This student hasn’t been successful in the past,” “It’s the child’s home environment” or “There is a lack of parental support” even though according to Hattie’s research, those factors really are rather low on the influence size. (Hattie’s research found prior achievement at 0.65, home environment 0.52, and parental involvement 0.49). These are not insurmountable influences, but for schools with low CTE, the problem (and the solution) are always named as something outside the school’s influence.
Schools with low CTE seem culturally stuck. These schools change one teacher at a time or they will simply remain the same at their core and appear resistant to any kind of significant change.
However, there are two things that can significantly impact these schools to have a significant shift in culture: leadership must create and support an environment for risk-taking, and leadership must create and support a collaborative learning environment.
Risk-taking endeavors must be met with feedback that is positive, formative, and encouraging, not critical and summative. Risk-taking must become more of the norm if you want to see hope, forward-thinking, and failing forward from your staff.
Next, once the culture moves towards risk-taking, schools need to shift into problem-solving as the shared method of learning. Teachers need to begin to study problem-based learning as a regular approach and a practice. They need to work collaboratively because no individual is perfect. However, if you have a team of teachers focused collectively on a shared goal that they work interdependently to solve, you have a powerful force directed to solve that problem.
What happens when teachers and leaders own the problem and seek a solution? They then own the learning that comes from that problem. It is through the power of collective problem solving that we can create system wide change in schools. Leaders and staff who own the problems, own the solutions and the learning.
Let’s take that concept a step further.
What happens when students in our classroom are empowered to create their own projects and to solve their own problems?
For many years in education, the gold standard classroom has been “engaged classrooms.” In these classrooms:
--Teachers are working to make the class interesting
--Teachers are giving students some choice
--Students are attentively consuming the curriculum
--Students are preparing for their future learning and / or jobs
What if the new gold standard classroom is the “empowered classroom?” In these classrooms:
--Teachers are working with students to tap into their students’ interests
--Teaches are inspiring possibilities
--Students are attentively creating and are committed to their interests
--Students are preparing themselves for anything
What happens when because of that shift, students become empowered to own their problems and their learning?
The world our current students will inherit will look vastly different from our own. The top-ten in-demand jobs that existed in 2010, did not exist in 2004. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have on average between 10-13 jobs by the age of 38.
We can no longer prepare our students for our past. We must prepare our students for their future, and their future looks vastly different than ours did as students. How do we create new and better (innovative) opportunities for student learning?
Learning Forward PA (LFPA) is honored to announce that A.J. Juliani has agreed to be our presenter for our annual fall conference on November 1, 2018 on the topic of Intentional Innovation. It will be held at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, PA, 17545. Cost is $180.00 per person with an early bird special of $150.00 per person prior to July 15, 2018.
He is the author of books centered around student-agency, choice, innovative learning, and engagement, and his book titles include: “Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning,” LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every “Student, Inquiry & Innovation in the Classroom”, and “Learning By Choice.”
We look forward to having you join us! Please click here to register.