Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Collective Efficacy Book Study- Chapter 1

As part of  our ongoing learning, some of the leaders within the Simcoe County District School Board are embarking on a book study on "Collective Efficacy: How Educators' Beliefs Impact Student Learning" by Jenni Donohoo.

Meeting face to face for our initial and final meetings covering Chapters 1 and 5, our group has decided to "meet" virtually for Chapters 2, 3 and 4, trying a different format each week.  Week 2's meeting will be via responses on a blog post, week 3 will be collaboration via twitter chat and week 4 will be through a collaborative Google slide deck.  At our final meeting, we will discuss our experiences with the different formats and share ideas about other formats that we might try with the intent of setting direction for future book studies.  Although we will be "meeting" via a different format each week, I will post our weekly questions here for easy reference and so that others' might follow along and join in with our learning.

Happy reading!
Chapter 1- Collective Teacher Efficacy 

Chapter Summary

“Amazing things happen when a school staff shares the belief that they are able to achieve collective goals and overcome challenges to impact student achievement” (p. 1). Collective teacher efficacy can be defined as teachers’ shared belief in their ability to reach all students to positively influence achievement outcomes. In Chapter 1, Donohoo shares research that indicates collective teacher efficacy outranks every other influence on student achievement, including socioeconomic status, prior achievement, home environment and parental involvement. Donohoo goes on to identify four sources that shape collective efficacy beliefs; mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion and affective states.

Connection to other research:
John Hattie (Visible Learning), Peter Dewitt (Collaborative Leadership), Stephen Covey (Seven Habits…)

  • What is the role of leadership, both formal and informal, in fostering collective teacher efficacy within our schools? 
  • According to Donohoo, the most powerful source of collective teacher efficacy are “mastery experiences”, defined as teams experiencing success and attributing those successes to causes within their control. Share some examples of where you see this happening in your school.
  • The second most powerful source of collective efficacy is “vicarious experiences”. This is when teachers see colleagues facing similar challenges to their own overcoming those challenges and as a result feel that they too can overcome those obstacles. What are some ways that we can tap into creating vicarious experiences for our staff members? 
  • What role might school climate play with respect to collective teacher efficacy (or vice versa)? 
  • If we all have “an emotional bank account,” based on deposits and withdrawals what behaviours and actions of a leader serve as deposits. Which act as withdrawals? How does impact collective efficacy?

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